RunningBlog: Shin Splints

Shin Splints. This kinda sucks. I’d been feeling some little niggles in my left shin for the past week or so, but nothing too major. I mentioned it to the physio last week and she said to just keep an eye on it and make sure it didn’t become worse. I did some research on it the other day so I knew what symptoms to look for. Today at lunch, I headed out for a 45min jog around the Domain in the winter sunshine. I walked for about 5 minutes to warm up, then start slowly jogging up the hill to the Art Gallery. I picked up my speed a little as I got into the park with all the other runners. I was feeling really good as I was rounding the tip of the peninsula at Mrs. Macquarie’s chair, when suddenly I started getting sharp little shocks in that left shin with each footfall. It wasn’t terribly painful, but it felt like a needle was poking me in the leg with every single step. I knew enough to back off. I stopped to stretch (and Twitter), and I ended up walking pretty much the whole way back to the office. I’ve done some more reading, and the good news is it seems like I’ve managed to catch it early. I don’t really have any intense pain (except when I’m massaging it, and then it hurts like hell). I iced both shins tonight, and I took an anti-inflammatory and massaged Voltarin into both legs. I think the causes are fairly obvious: over-training, running on concrete, and running in really old shoes. (I was sure I’d gotten these last October before the Melbourne Half, but upon further checking, it looks like I got them last May for the Sydney Half. They’re a year old! EEP! No wonder.) So I’m going to take a couple days off, and on Sunday we’ll be taking a trip to Rozelle to visit Running Science. I’m going to get my gait examined and hopefully get myself some new wheels. In the meantime, let me know if you have any tips for faster recovery or keeping fit without aggravating it…

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  1. I have found ice baths absolutely amazing for my shins. Sorry. But I kneel in ice water. Last year I was at the point where I screamed when my partner touched my shins.

  2. new shoes! new shoes! i change mine every 4-5 months and use shock-absorbing insoles from Superfeet. it does wonders in preventing stress-related injuries. Oh, in addition to icing, I used to get shin splints in high school and the trainer would tape up my upper ankle/lower calf area to add more support.

  3. I’ve been doing ice baths, actually. I had one on Sunday after my long run. But it must not have been enough.

    Yeah, I think the shoes are the main culprit here. I’m not going to run again until I get new ones.

  4. I used to get shin splints all the time in HS cross country / track. Best way to ice your painful shins: Fill up paper or styro cups with water and freeze them. Then, rip away the first few inches, and you have an ice stick that’s easy to handle and rub up and down the shin. If you use the styro, it keeps your hands from getting cold. But, kills Mother Nature. 😉

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