Exercise! - Any treadmill enthusiasts in here? - I need your opinion

02-18-2008, 01:00 PM
Last week, I experienced a (temporary, I hope) setback. I googled my problem and I found out that was suffering from a shin splint (anterior shin splint, to be exact - here is a link to picture showing the location of my pain: and I had to stop using the treadmill to allow my leg to rest and heal.
[Sorry, I tried to post a link but I don't have enough post to be allowed a link. ]

I started to exercise on my treadmill at the beginning of February and since I thought I was used to walking (I walk my dogs for 45 minutes a day, at a fairly decent pace, but not in winter). I started a wee bit lower, but pretty much the second week I was doing 2% incline, 3.9 or 4 mph for 35 - 40 minutes every other day.
I think I have underestimated my condition and developed the said shin splint. So after a 6-day-long rest, I started again yesterday, zero incline and 3 mph for 20 minutes. That is really no workout (it really feels like a fast walk) but I have to stick to this for a bit to allow my right leg to get used to it.

How long do you think I should stick to this speed? (keep in mind that I use the treadmill every other day). I was afraid to go longer than 20 minutes yesterday because I thought I started to feel the leg a bit again. After how long is it advisable to add some incline (1% for a start) and to increase the speed?
Thanks in advice for your suggestions.

02-18-2008, 01:36 PM
I played competitive volleyball and basketball until I was in my mid thirties. We often got a "shin splint". This never stopped us. Basically, we walked or ran it off. I don't know what is medically recommended, but continuing to move made it go away for me and the other girls. I have not heard of having to rest for 6 days.
Again, I have not looked up what is medically recommended. I can only tell you what the experience was for my team and myself.

02-18-2008, 02:21 PM
I don't know what is medically recommended either - but I think you need to continue to work at building up your muscles - and they go away. Make sure you are stretching really well - You can sit on the floor with your leg straight out and have someone (gently) press down on the tops of your feet to stretch out your shins. And make sure you have GOOD SHOES. I find that crappy shoes hurt my shins, calves, etc.

02-18-2008, 03:11 PM
I get'em sometimes too. I would do what you are doing and listen to your body. You'll know when you are ready to speed it up a little and whatnot. also, like everyone else said, Stretch before and after your workout, good shoes and if they hurt ya, ice them and rest them for 24 hours. :)

Good luck. :hug:

the slim me
02-18-2008, 03:43 PM
I work in rehab, in the hospital. When I got a shin splint I asked the rehab Dr. what to do and his suggestion was "always stretch after the exercise, and warm up slowely" I'm sure you can go on here and pick up some good stretching techniques. The one he suggested was "stand with feet flat on floor, about an arms length away from the wall. Put the palmes of your hands on the wall and lean florwrd slowely, as far as you can, untill you feel the stretch. keep feet flat". It works for me.

02-18-2008, 04:18 PM
Thanks for your replies.

I do stretch, but only after (I was under the impression that you stretch only when the muscles are warmed up?) Also, I used a suggestion I found somewhere online - I heated up the buckwheat wrap (that I sue for my sore neck sometimes) and put it on my shin for about 15 minutes prior to the treadmill exercise. I warmed up by slow walk for 5 minutes. I will take another stab at it tomorrow.

02-18-2008, 05:25 PM
You might try icing your shins. You could do this in the evening while you are relaxing, watching TV, etc. Ice on for 15-20 minutes, then off for 40-60 minutes. Go through a couple of cycles. Ibuprofen also might help. I'm surprised you found an article that recommended heat treatment because heat is not usually recommended for soft-tissue injuries. But I guess if it seems to help...

Here is a link to an article with a bunch of different exercises that should help strengthen your leg muscles, which will help alleviate the shin splints: Preventing Shin Splints (http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/0161-shin-splints-treatment.htm).

Also, how good are your shoes? You might want to go to a running specialty store (like Fleet Feet (http://www.fleetfeetsports.com/)), where they will watch you walk and recommend a shoe specifically for your gate.

02-19-2008, 02:13 PM
I too got severe shin splints that were horrible when I first started using treadmill. My dr. advised me to ice the shins 2-3 times a day for 5-10 minutes. And to just push through the pain. And finally after months the pain got much better. Its something that never really goes away but it does get better in time. Just keep moving!


02-19-2008, 03:28 PM
Its something that never really goes away but it does get better in time.

I urge you to (a) first search for stretches for shin splints, and DO THEM. And if that doesn't work, consult a competent doctor or PT. An ongoing pain that "never really goes away" is not good, and not normal at all. And in the case of shin splints, it's also preventable.

I've been a runner for over a decade and this is the first time I've heard of anyone suggesting that shin splints that last for months are anything other than a major problem to be treated (or rested until pain-free) rather than suffered through.

02-19-2008, 09:21 PM
Here is a link to an article with a bunch of different exercises that should help strengthen your leg muscles, which will help alleviate the shin splints: [link deleted because I am not allowed to post links yet].

Also, how good are your shoes? You might want to go to a running specialty store [link deleted because I am not allowed to post links yet], where they will watch you walk and recommend a shoe specifically for your gate.

Thanks so much for the info re the exercises - this is great! :hug:
I truly appreciate it.

I have to admit (hanging my head in shame) that I did not buy proper shoes yet. I do wear Merrills that I wear in summer when I walk my dogs, but they are really for aqua sports. I love the fact that have a lot of mesh and my feet don't sweat in them, but walking shoes they are not. I will try to find a decent store this weekend (I am in Canada so I don't think we have Fleet Feet but I will hit specialty stores). I did not realize (I know, silly me) until I started to research the shin splints, the importance of shoes.

Thanks again for replies. I did 30 minutes at 3.1 mph today and I was fine (although it is not much in terms of exercise). But I will persist. :D

02-19-2008, 10:42 PM
I googled some sites for you:







02-19-2008, 11:42 PM
I have to admit I am shocked that there are doctors and coaches advising people to push through the pain. Shin splints are a warning that something is not right. Usually tight calves.

Ice, rest and ibuprofen, non impact activities are usually prescribed during healing --PT for severe splints.

Warm stretching, good shoes, keep the exercise at a level that doesnt cause pain. NOTE shin splints will often hurt at the beginning and then "go away" when you warm up. This doesnt mean you arent causing more damage.

There are treatments that allow you to continue to run/walk while healing, but it is important that they do not get worse

02-20-2008, 08:05 AM
Diva - hugs to you too! :hug::hug::hug:

02-21-2008, 02:41 AM
Back when I was in high school, I decided to do track for a season on a whim and I got severe shin splints. My coach suggested icing them for 10-15 minutes and also, after stretching them out...to trace the letters of the alphabet with my foot/ankle while keeping my foot slightly elevated while seated. It didn't make them completely go away but it definitely made them more tolerable.

I also thinking moving is key, they really hit me as soon as I stopped running after a sprint.