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Problems with shin splints? Any remedies???

I run a lot of miles (30-40 per week), and am worried that I might be getting shin splints. Besides the obvious (not running so much) does any one have suggestions for things I can do to try and keep things from getting worse?

Tue. Apr 11, 1:34am

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You may need new shoes. Did you have your shoes fitted for you? I recently went to a running store and got shoes for my foot type and made a big difference.

Another suggestion is to ice down your shins right after you run and take an advil.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 9:20 AM

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After you run, be sure to stretch your calves. A really good way to do this is to stand on stairs (or a bench, if there's something to hold on to) with your toes on the stairs and your heels hanging off, and lower your heel to lower than the stair, while standing straight up or leaning forward a little. Do one leg, and then the other.

Additionally, if you run on a treadmill, try running at a slight incline. Even increasing from 0 incline to 0.5 or 1.0 should get rid of any shin splints. If you run outside, try running on grass or gravel or a track, rather than cement.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 10:25 AM

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I agree w/the previous poster about running on an incline. That has saved me!!! Once I found out about that trick, I ONLY run on an incline (very slight--0.5 or 1.0), to avoid getting shin splints!!

Hearing how far you run is so inspiring! I only run about 12 miles/week, a level that I can't seem to push myself beyond. But I'll keep trying!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 10:32 AM

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Explanation and exercises

When I was having shin splints I did a lot of reading and asked the runners I knew (one of whom, my sister-in-law, is a physical therapy asst. and a marathoner) about them.

Basically, this is it: There's a tendon in your shin that runs through a semirigid channel of something like cartilage. Shinsplints are when the tendon becomes inflamed from increased activity back and forth through that channel, usually not moving as smoothly as it should because the muscles that keep it, let's say, centered in the channel aren't built up enough (yet).

To build them faster, lay out a towel on the floor, sit in a chair, plant your bare heels on the floor and use only your toes to move the towel toward you (it will bunch up under the soles of your feet). When there's no more room under your feet, use your toes to move it back out from under them. A few minutes every day will help the tendon stay centered and lubed in that channel.

That's incredibly simplified, but this is the imagery I developed after reading some far more technically accurate descriptions. And the exercise really helps, but it's important to actually use a towel, because then you are forced to do it correctly.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 11:16 AM

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I'm not the OP, but thanks to mejaka for the exercise tip. I knew that shin splints were related to a lack of muscle conditioning, but I never knew of any exercises to help build that muscle. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 3:34 PM

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Also try these exercise to strengthen shins:

Walk on your heels with your toes up in the air for about 50 steps a few times a day. Also while sitting, put your feet in the air and draw the alphabet with your feet. It will take a few weeks of doing this before the pain goes away.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006, 3:57 PM

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