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Jude's avatar

Any particular exercises that you could do to prevent shin splints?

Asked by Jude (32134points) January 20th, 2011

I started jogging again, and the last couple of days I have had terrible shin splints. I took Advil last night because my legs were hurting pretty bad. What could I do to prevent them from happening?

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13 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Stand with your tippy toes on the edge of a curb or stair,then lower yourself down until you can feel a good stretch in your calf muscles.I also will cross my feet and touch my toes.It works wonders.Do this before and after your run.Or else! XD

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Get NEW running shoes, but stay off the track for a couple of days. Rest will help.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I used to get bad shin splints at the start of basketball practice. I just ran through them. Eventually they went away.

Jude's avatar

@Tropical_Willie The shoes are brand new and they’re good ones.

@Adirondackwannabe They’re pretty bad. When I stop, if you go to touch, they’re pretty sore. I really want to avoid them altogether.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Jude I never could avoid them. It’s the result of hard surfaces, so any chance you could find something easier on them for now? Middle of winter, kind of hard to do, but my legs always preferred turf.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Jude I have flat feet and pronated ankles. I was always have problems until I got shoes fitted for me and my condition. Some forms of shin splints are compression fractures!

963chris's avatar

Even though the shoes are new + good, there are different types so you may want to make sure that they are supportive enough. For example, there are lighter shoes with more support that make the run faster (i use a pair of adidas for that) or some that are more akin to barefoot running (e.g. five finger shoes) or those that are a step in between (my nike id’s). I recently went to a running store + spoke with a consultant in regard to this as a matter of fact. However, stretching before + after should help.

YoKoolAid's avatar

Ok, here’s what you do:

Lift your toes

Whenever you’re in a seated position, lift your toes and repeat. It will strengthen that muscle on the front of your shin and hopefully prevent further pain from shin splints.

MissAusten's avatar

I get shin splints just from walking more at more than just a casual pace, let alone running or jogging. The stretches @lucillelucillelucille mentioned help a lot. I also do toe lifts similar to what @YoKoolAid described. I lean my back flat against a wall with my feet together about a foot from the wall, then “lift” my feet so only my heels are still on the floor. I hope that makes sense. That particular method was shown to me by a retired track coach in our family.

When my shins started bothering me a lot after starting to walk a lot for exercise, I took a few days off and did those stretches every day. When I went back to walking, my shins didn’t bother me nearly as much. I wish my middle school track coach had known of something to help, because I had such terrible pain from shin splints back then that I couldn’t walk after running a race and quit the track team. :(

quarkquarkquark's avatar

I had terrible shin splints for years. If I ran on pavement, a mile or two one time would put me in agonizing pain for a month. A sports medicine doctor shrugged her shoulders and told me I probably just wasn’t built for running and would never be able to. I had the best shoes – a pair of $150 ASICS at the peak of my futile interest – and then I read “Born to Run” by Christopher MacDougall. It’s a somewhat faddish book that we can probably pinpoint as the origin of the barefoot running craze, but it makes some great points. Notably, one of MacDougall’s theses is that shin splints and other running injuries are due to heavily padded and “well-designed” running shoes like ASICs. He reserves special condemnation for Nike as the original propagator of the myth that people need running shoes.

For my part, I threw out my ASICS and started running in thin, sole-less aqua socks. I don’t get shin splints any more, I can run for miles at a time several days a week, and I haven’t looked back. I’m convinced now that running shoes are a scam, but all other information in MacDougall’s book aside, there is a facet of common sense to this argument, and that’s this:

Heavily padded running shoes force you to land on your heel. When you do so, your weight and momentum cause thousands of pounds of force to come down on a bone that does not give at all – it’s the scaled-down equivalent of crashing your car into a concrete wall. MacDougall is fond of saying that running shoes “block pain, not impact” – that is, that we need to be able to listen to our bodies telling us when and how to run. In my experience, this has been true. I am almost 100% confident that if you throw out your fancy running shoes and buy a pair of Five Fingers or $10 aqua socks, that if you start slow and work your way up, you will never have problems with shin splints again.

Cruiser's avatar

What @quarkquarkquark says. I used to get splints now and then too and switched back to a thin soled hiker shoe and have nary an ache.

I don’t run all that far and it is more of ¼ mile sprint then walk repeat. I find it dishes out less wear and tear on the bones and joints that way.

SamIAm's avatar

I get bad shin splints too. The owner of the Pilates studio I was going to told me to stretch my toes outward (away from my body) whenever I felt like it. I didn’t do it long enough to prevent the splints but it also depends on your shoes (some hurt more than others). I recommend doing this toe flex before and after running and whenever you want to :)

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