Shin Splints -- Keep on Going?

by elmroe

What could happen if you still run when you have shin splits?

Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your question about shin splints.

Shin splints are one of those nasty overuse injuries.

When you have them, it means you are doing something wrong, e.g. building up your mileage too quickly or doing too much hill running for example.

Maybe you are running on shoes that are over the due date.

In the beginning it seems like you can just keep on going. You have a little bit of pain at the start of your workout.

But as you warm up, the pains can go away. However, the next workout it hurts a little more. The next workout as well. Etc. Until you can't even start your running training anymore.

Keep on going with shin splints, and at some point you will have to stop anyway. Only problem is that you will have to wait a lot longer until you have healed. The longer you wait with treating shin splints, the longer you will be forced to take time off running afterwards.

You even run the risk of creating yourself a chronic injury, i.e. an injury that will never really go away anymore...

So, start treating your shin splints asap!

Well, take a break from running for starters.
Then start applying ice to the shin.

shin ice, shin splints

Easy icing is possible with Shin Ice. This has cold packs containing cells of purified water. These are sewn inside a neoprene sleeve. You simply refrigerate the sleeve and then slip it on!

Click here for more information.

After icing, the next thing you need to do is stretch.
Stretch your calves (heel raises) and your achilles (heel drops). Also see
my achilles tendinitis page for these exercises.

These are great strengthening exercises for your lower legs and should be part of your training program.

A simple way to stretch is walking on your toes and walking on your heels. Just try that out now for a few seconds.

Stretch daily. Stretch a couple of times a day. Making your lower legs stronger is the key to fighting and preventing shin splints.

shin splints, compression wrap

Another very good product is the shin splint from Pro-Tec. It works as a support to your shins. It helps to reduce the symptoms of shin splints and it adds stability by providing gentle pressure. This also helps to stop additional tearing of soft tissue.

Click here for more information.

By the way, just because you can't run anymore, does not mean you can't stay fit and try to maintain most of your fitness. You can ride a bike, swim, do pilates, aerobics etc.

I know it is no fun to stop running, but trust me on this, you really need to and it is not the end of the world.
There are plenty of ways to stay fit, just requires a little creativity.

Whatever you do, do not keep on going when you have shin splints. It's a recipe for disaster.

Hope this helps.

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