20-Somethings - What do you know about shin splints?

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 07:42 PM
How do you know if you have shin splints? I did research but I still don't know if that's what the pain is I have on the front of my shins. It only hurts when I run or walk fast.
Sorry, I've been so "active" on here today. lol I'm full of questions.....

09-17-2008, 08:00 PM
Hah! Oh, the good ol' shin splints.

That sounds like you're starting to get them but they haven't become a chronic problem yet. If you let them get worse they can cause you to tear ligaments AND contribute to tibial stress fractures (something I've had a lot of experience with. Sigh...) so you need to pay attention to those pains when you get them. The most common cause is having overdeveloped quads. Do you use squat or leg press machines often? If you do, STOP. If you're trying to get into a frequent running or walking program those machines will end up causing you injuries. Build strength in those muscles using YOUR OWN body weight. That's the best way to do it because it keeps all of your muscles working together instead of isolating one and working it more than the rest. Do squats and heel raises with a chair or ballet barre instead of using the machines with weights.

Also, shin splints are a definite sign of not stretching properly. A proper warm up should be 10 minutes of warm up activity (riding a stationary bike at gradually increasing intensity, or a light jog in place to raise your heart rate) THEN at least 20 minutes of GOOD stretching, 2-3 reps each and the stretch held for 30-60 seconds. When you do your cool down after exercising, you should repeat your stretches and massage your limbs in a downward motion before your heart rate goes back to normal.

This should help immensely on it's own, but if you continue to experience pain after a full 7-10 days of proper stretching and warm-ups and quitting the squat machines then your shoes are the likely culprit. Head to a Goodfeet or Brooks location that does a comprehensive Gaitscan with their consultation and get yourself properly fitted with a good pair of walking/ general purpose support shoes, AND a good pair of running shoes. They will never be one in the same. Never.

Hope this helps and you feel better hun! Be really careful, okay? I don't want you tearing up your knees or ankles in the meantime. It can happen quickly, I know from experience.

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 08:11 PM
This might be a stupid question, but I've been doing squats like 100 / night, but using my own weight. I'm not using a machine or extra weights at all. Do I still need to stop it? I'm never heard of those places to get good shoes, are their others?

09-17-2008, 08:20 PM
but if you're doing them to the point of muscle exhaustion and not stretching afterwards you could be making your shin muscles very very tight. You *must* stretch them. Remember that your muscles go in opposites. Stretching the front of your thigh will also stretch the back of your calf and vice versa. Any stretches where you point your toes as far as you can during the stretch will also help stretch out your shins.

Try searching online for a Brook's or a goodfeet store near you. I would say you could do their little online questionnaire, but since you probably don't know what kind of foot you have it's best to let a professional check them out first, then you can adjust as you see fit.

www.brooksrunning.com - Type in your zip code in the dealer search box and start calling the vendors it brings up to see if they do professional shoe fittings and gait scans (they scan your feet as you walk to get an active view of pressure spots and how your foot spreads so they can get a better fit.) Most of the shops that carry Brook's are specialty shops for competitive runners so they usually have experienced fitting professionals on hand.

09-18-2008, 01:16 PM
This may seem kind of silly, but it really helped me. I was walking/running on the balls of my feet having horrible shin splints and then when I started focusing on rolling from my heel to the ball of my foot they stopped! It's a little more awkward for me right now, I'm a bit slower but I can run 4X farther!

09-18-2008, 03:17 PM
what really helped my shin splints was doing a desk exercise where i keep one foot heel on the floor and rest the other on top of that foot and do mini presses with each foot. just lifing the weight of the other foot while keeping one heel on the ground

i know i didnt explain it well. sorry. theres videos on utube

09-18-2008, 03:30 PM
I always had problems with shin splints in the past, trying to walk on the treadmill. This time around, no problems at all (doing C25K on a sidewalk). The only difference I can tell is that this time I had done yoga for about 4 months before starting the walking/jogging :D. I think all the balancing and maintaining form in various standing poses worked out my shins and ankles.

09-18-2008, 04:11 PM
I am so glad i read this.. I never knew what caused them i just thought it was because i was fat and was running a mile and my poor legs could not stand the weight.

Thanks for the great question and the wonderful answers it helped me alot as well.!!

Here we go again
09-18-2008, 04:32 PM
Shannon: Thanks so much. I'm glad my ignorance can help others. lol

09-18-2008, 04:41 PM
i had shin splints and my trainer said the best thing to do to stop the pain is to rest. i was doing c25k and trying to do it every other day and it was too much i had to rest a few days in between. that really helped me.

stretching and rest between running.jogging helps

09-18-2008, 09:54 PM
HERE WE GO AGAIN- You are welcome, anytime..LOL

It is so funny how one question helps out so many people.
Thanks again!!

09-18-2008, 10:40 PM
My shins have been REALLY bumpy my entire life, it's even visible without running your finger down them. What causes this? I've never had any pains I don't think.