Do I Have Shin Splints? And What Can I Do About Them?

Do you have pain on the inside of your shin?

Are you unsure whether or not you have shin splints?

Here a few things you can look out for;
  1. The pain you are feeling could be described as a “dull ache” along the inside of the shin in the lower third of your leg. In the area shown below.
  2. This area itself may be tender to touch and there may be some swelling.
  3. Initially, your pain may come on at the start of exercise and then ease during your sessions and only come back as you start to cool down.
  4. After this, the pain may actually remain throughout the exercise and stay with you after you stop exercising.

If this sounds familiar to you, you may have shin splints. Don’t panic! You’re not alone and this is fixable!

Shin splints are a very common running injury. But shin splints are also common in footballers and dancers. Roughly 1 in 5 runners, dancers, and footballers will get shin splints at some point in time. It is also very common if you are new to running with as much as 35% of new runners suffering from shin splints.

What causes shin splints?

Shin splints are often talked about as an “overuse” or “overload” injury. This is why people who are very active and people who are starting a new running/exercise program can get shin splints.

If you train a lot and you feel shin splints are beginning to affect you it may be worth sitting down and thinking about how your training has changed in recent weeks; For new runners, shin splints can be caused by going from 0-100, if you are starting out running for the first time or getting back into running again after a long time out make sure you have a sensible approach. Please don’t go from sitting on the couch to attempting a marathon within the first week. . .

  • Have you run further every day in the last two weeks?
  • Did you add hills into your run?
  • Have you gone from running/dancing twice a week to running five times a week?
  • Are you now doing both running and playing football/dancing?
  • Have your dance classes gone from one hour to two hours?

These may be things you need to address and plan around so that your shin splints don’t worsen, and so that you can continue doing the things you love to do.

Tips we have for new runners are;

  • Start slowly, begin with some walk-runs if you have to, and build up from there!
  • Have a plan, by making a plan you can increase your distance and speed steadily and help avoid injury
  • Use the “rule of two” don’t increase your speed or your distance until at least two runs at a particular distance/speed feel somewhat comfortable. E.g. don’t start doing 6km runs if 5kms are still a struggle, two comfortable 5kms in a row and you’re good to increase your distance!
  • Finally, add some strength training to your plan. Key muscle groups to support your running are quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings.

If you would like a training plan to help you get started running please email us here and we will send it to you.

We have some exercises that can help your recovery from Shin Splints, you can find them here!

Tommy Brennan

Tommy Brennan

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