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Shin splints?

I have a pain in my lower legs - inside - I've looked on the net and sounds like it could be shin splints. I've run for years however and wear fitted trainers. Has anyone suffered from this and if so, what symptoms did you have. I'm away and can't see a doctor for another week and worried about running in meantime. Thanks James


  • I used to get these when I played football, particularly early on in the season when the pitches were quite firm and we'd been doing lots of road running in pre-season. My symptoms were significant tenderness on the inside of both shins but often worse on the right. About half way down was really sore, but the whole lower part of the shin would be affected. It seemed to ease up over time and with softer surfaces, but was pretty variable in terms of severity.
    I used Volterol or similar on them when playing and bought some very cushioned running shoes. Having said that I am rubbish at getting proper medical advice, so i am not recommending it as an approach.
    If it hurts to run I'd ease off a bit or try and get on an elliptical trainer or do more swimming, although I'd rather take the pain than do more swimming
  • AKAK Posts: 27
    Have you had a particularly intense few weeks running lately? Increased volume, intensity, etc.?

    Back from my basketball days, shin splints often come out due to overuse, and the best way to get rid of them is to ease off for a few weeks and then gradually go back to training. I always had to take 2 weeks off or so to be able to get back on the court. Voltarol sometimes helps too, but masks the pain rather than solving the problem.

    Worth making sure the pains actually are shin splints though - could be any of about a dozen ailments, especially that as you say you've run for years.

  • JameslyJamesly Posts: 69
    Thanks for your replies - I have increased intensity recently with a race at the end of september - I'll stop running and see doctor when I get home. Looks like more swimming and cycling for now!
  • gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    It does sound like pain from increasing intensity rather than shinsplints (though i'll let the doctor do the diagnosis ).

    Don't stop completely because you'll most likely end up being in the same position a few weeks down the line. Best thing for you do here is the RICE method. I couldn't be bothered to re-write it all, so here's a definition lifted from Wikipedia:

    Rest is a key component of repairing the body. Without rest, continual strain is placed on the affected area, leading to increased inflammation, pain, and possible further injury. In general, the period of rest should be long enough that the patient is able to use the affected limb with the majority of function restored and pain essentially gone.

    Ice is excellent at reducing the inflammatory response and the pain from heat generated. Proper usage of ice can reduce the destruction over-response which can result from inflammation. A good method is ice 20 minutes of each hour. It is recommended that the ice be placed within a towel before wrapping around the area. Exceeding the recommended time for ice application may be detrimental, as blood flow will be too reduced to allow nutrient delivery and waste removal.

    Compression aims to reduce the swelling that results from the inflammatory process. Although some swelling is inevitable, too much swelling results in significant loss of function, excessive pain and eventual slowing of blood flow through vessel restriction. Usage of a tight, non-elastic bandage will result in reduction of adequate blood flow, potentially causing ischemia. The fit should be snug so as to not move freely, but still allow expansion for when muscles contract and fill with blood (so something like compression socks is good here).

    Elevation aims to reduce swelling by increasing venous return of blood to the systemic circulation. This will result in less edema, and aid in waste product removal from the area
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