Shin splints, help!

Posted
by ShelleyERgirl ShelleyERgirl, LPN Member Nurse

Specializes in Oncology, Cardiology, ER, L/D. Has 20 years experience.

Hello all, I have a problem I hope you guys can help me with. I have recently started walking for weight loss along with some running (very little at this point), usually for about 45 minutes. My shins are killing me to the point where it makes me want to give up and I don't want to do that. I have been alternating with the elliptical trainer which has helped some but I don't want to do that forever because I am getting bored. I eventually want to run a marathon but I will never get there if I keep this up. I swear it feels like my shins are going to burst out of my skin sometimes! Any suggestions? Thanks!

Nurse1966

Nurse1966

92 Posts

They'll tell you that we can't give medical advise on this site. But...I'm right there with you doing the walk/run thing, with the shin splints. What I've found that helps is after you walk five or ten minutes, stretch your calves really well. And then stretch again afterwards. I don't consider that medical advise, not really anyhow. I'm using a itunes program that is "four weeks to running a mile". It's pretty good, the music is not what I'd choose, but it's got a good pace (slow) for me. Check out coolrunning.com and runnersworld.com, they have boards for beginners like us. Also, the couch to 5k is a good program. Good luck, and remember, when it gets tough, that at least your off that couch!!

SweetLemon

SweetLemon

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 1 years experience. 213 Posts

If you are just starting out it may help to also alternate with some swimming a few days a week. That way your still getting the workout with out putting as much stress on your lower legs. Keep going after it though... the first 3-4 weeks are the worst but it does eventually get better! :anpom:(cheering you on!)

BerryHappy

BerryHappy

261 Posts

I've done many marathons and various races and I agree, get in the pool! If you aren't too shy, get in there and run. It is actually as good as running on the road but a better workout for your entire body. Next, get into a local running store to make sure you are in the right shoes. Even if you are walking and not running you still need the best shoes for your build and activity. Also, STAY OFF THE CONCRETE!!! If you have to find a track, asphalt road, dirt road, sand, WHATEVER the concrete will KILL your legs so find something else. Finally, good ol RICE and anti-anflammatory's. And I repeat DO NOT RUN WHEN YOUR SHINS ARE BURNING! Swim, bike, lift, row, anything but don't run again till your legs heal. You could risk a much worse injury. Don't worry, they will heal. It may seem like FOREVER but they WILL HEAL. Just take your time and remember you are not alone! You GO GIRL!

Edited by BerryHappy
typo

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Hey you and me had the same problem. I find that I need to have shoes with enuf room in the toe box so that I can wiggle my toes. And, when I have been away from exercise walking for a while, I need to start slowly and make sure I don't reach out and grab the pavement/treadmill with my feet. This is what is giving you those shin splints! Ice is nice :up:

ShelleyERgirl, LPN

Specializes in Oncology, Cardiology, ER, L/D. Has 20 years experience. 436 Posts

Thanks for the great advice, guys, you rock! I wasn't really looking for medical advice per se, just wanted to know what other runner/walkers did. I really appreciate the recommendations. I usually walk on a treadmill or an indoor track at the Y. I would like to run a 5K by Easter, a 10K by the 4th of July and eventually a full 26.2 marathon. It is going to take awhile but I am determined. I love that endorphin rush after a good work out and especially just being "done" with it too!:D Thanks again.

polvaltqueen

polvaltqueen

3 Posts

Congrats on taking care of yourself! It's a huge accomplishment and it deserves a huge pat on the back:nuke:

Everyone has great advice and I wanted to add a little to it.

Get proper support in your shoes!!! I personally have high arches and have to put $20 insoles in my $135 shoes. Crazy I know but totally worth it. If I am not supported shin splints will flare up immediately, but with them I can go, and go and go...

Another option to ice bags is freezing water in Dixie cups and peeling back the paper, massaging the ice on my shins.

Good luck from another Shin Splint sufferer.

ritarunningfeet

ritarunningfeet

Specializes in Emergency room, Flight, Pre-hospital. 81 Posts

I agree with BerryHappy 100% I also have run quite a few marathons. Staying off the concrete is definatly a big deal. This month in runners world magazine they had an article on the kinesiology tape and how to tape for shin splints. not sure if that article will be online or not, or if your local library might have that magazine so you could check it out. Another good website for those just starting out is http://www.jeffgalloway.com. When you get ready to train for that full marathon sometimes extra support can help in a group and maybe the leukemia and lymphoma society would be a good option as they do many, many marathons all over the united states. Good Luck in your goal to a marathon, I have faith that you will do it!!

BabyLady

BabyLady, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, Post-partum. 2,300 Posts

There are several things that are the main culpret of shin splints:

1. Shoes with poor support...they are not created equal.

2. Improper technique while running/walking (sounds silly...but it's only an issue for those who have more sensitive feet).

3. Lack of strength in the feet

There is an exercise you can do that can help. In your house, find a single step (or outside)...make sure something is nearby to hold onto.

Put your foot half-way onto the step with your heels hanging off...then slowly (this is for both safety and part of making the exercise effective) extend DOWN as far as you can..hold for 5 seconds...push back up to your original position....repeat.

This is a VERY sensitive exercise...the first time that you do it, seriously...don't do more than 5 rotations and then work your way up ever 3rd day or so, increasing by no more than 2...this is an area that will hurt with every step you take if you overdo it...not good with nursing.

It strengthens the muscle that is the culpret of shin splints.

i get horrible shin splints very easily. i need to wear custom made arch supports in my shoes (actually need to get new ones). i get them due to having no arch at all. when they had gotten really bad (back in high school) i actually ended up needing physical therapy for them, to relieve the pain. it was not until the pain started to interfere with my everyday life that i knew there was a problem. i went to my track coach (who was a physics teacher at my school and also worked as a paramedic) he knew the problem instantly when i told him and i was put in the weight room for the rest of the season. he figured better to put me there longer then necessary then do permanent damage. but that was before we knew the cause. now that i know how to deal with them they do not happen as often.

ShelleyERgirl, LPN

Specializes in Oncology, Cardiology, ER, L/D. Has 20 years experience. 436 Posts

I agree with BerryHappy 100% I also have run quite a few marathons. Staying off the concrete is definatly a big deal. This month in runners world magazine they had an article on the kinesiology tape and how to tape for shin splints. not sure if that article will be online or not, or if your local library might have that magazine so you could check it out. Another good website for those just starting out is http://www.jeffgalloway.com. When you get ready to train for that full marathon sometimes extra support can help in a group and maybe the leukemia and lymphoma society would be a good option as they do many, many marathons all over the united states. Good Luck in your goal to a marathon, I have faith that you will do it!!

Thanks for the tips Rita, great website! Also planning on getting some new shoes. My arches are normal but I tend to pronate when I run so I don't know if that is contributing to shin splints or not. Look out treadmill, here I come!:D

ShelleyERgirl, LPN

Specializes in Oncology, Cardiology, ER, L/D. Has 20 years experience. 436 Posts

There are several things that are the main culpret of shin splints:

1. Shoes with poor support...they are not created equal.

2. Improper technique while running/walking (sounds silly...but it's only an issue for those who have more sensitive feet).

3. Lack of strength in the feet

There is an exercise you can do that can help. In your house, find a single step (or outside)...make sure something is nearby to hold onto.

Put your foot half-way onto the step with your heels hanging off...then slowly (this is for both safety and part of making the exercise effective) extend DOWN as far as you can..hold for 5 seconds...push back up to your original position....repeat.

This is a VERY sensitive exercise...the first time that you do it, seriously...don't do more than 5 rotations and then work your way up ever 3rd day or so, increasing by no more than 2...this is an area that will hurt with every step you take if you overdo it...not good with nursing.

It strengthens the muscle that is the culpret of shin splints.

Thank you, I will start those today, do not want to quit. I have lost 4 inches off my waist so far! Yea me!:D

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