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Shin Splints

oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
A few weeks ago the snow finally cleared from the soccer field and regular pickup games started up again.

Last Wednesday I noticed a pain on the inside of my shins and Saturday it was there again (the two days I usually play). I've decided I probably have shin splints.

I don't really have a lot of experience with shin splints. What do I do? How long until it's healed?

It doesn't really bother me once I'm warmed up and running around, so is it something I can play with (I have my first game with a new team Wednesday)?

oldsak on

Posts

  • bustin98bustin98 Registered User
    edited March 2011
    My experience with shin splints resulted in a big bucket of ice water during every practice.

    From the Mayo Clinic:

    Treatments and drugs
    In most cases, you can treat shin splints with simple self-care steps:
    • Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort — but don't give up all physical activity. While you're healing, try low-impact exercises, such as swimming, bicycling or water running. If your shin pain causes you to limp, consider using crutches until you can walk normally without pain.
    • Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to the affected shin for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel.
    • Reduce swelling. Elevate the affected shin above the level of your heart, especially at night. It may also help to compress the area with an elastic bandage or compression sleeve. Loosen the wrap if the pain increases, the area becomes numb or swelling occurs below the wrapped area.
    • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to reduce pain.
    • Wear proper shoes. Your doctor may recommend a shoe that's especially suited for your foot type, your stride and your particular sport.
    • Consider arch supports. Arch supports can help cushion and disperse stress on your shinbones. Off-the-shelf arch supports come in various sizes and can be fitted immediately. More durable arch supports can be custom-made from a plaster cast of your foot.
    • Resume your usual activities gradually. If your shin isn't completely healed, returning to your usual activities may only cause continued pain.
    Prevention
    To help prevent shin splints:
    • Choose the right shoes. Wear footwear that suits your sport. If you're a runner, replace your shoes about every 350 to 500 miles (560 to 800 kilometers).
    • Consider arch supports. Arch supports can help prevent the pain of shin splints, especially if you have flat arches.
    • Lessen the impact. Cross-train with a sport that places less impact on your shins, such as swimming, walking or biking. Remember to start new activities slowly. Increase time and intensity gradually.
    • Add strength training to your workout. To strengthen your calf muscles, try toe raises. Stand up. Slowly rise up on your toes, then slowly lower your heels to the floor. Repeat 10 times. When this becomes easy, do the exercise holding progressively heavier weights. Leg presses and other exercises for your lower legs can be helpful, too.
    It's also important to know when to rest; at the first sign of shin pain, take a break.

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  • DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I was under the impression that a shin splint was simply the calf muscle being so tight through exercise that it begins to pull the muscle away from the shins, and thus the pain.

    I was always told one of the best exercises is to sit down, or let your foot dangle from some sitting position, and try to lift your toes as if your trying to touch you shins. This should work the weaker muscle on the front of the left to better combat shin splints.

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  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I can't find a video of it for some reason... Basically, I used to get really bad shin splints, the way I dealt with it was to do stretches after every workout. The one I found that targeted the shin splints the best was one in which you kneel on the ground, effectively sitting on your shins with your butt touching your feet. Then you lean your upper torso backwards, you should feel it stretching the proper muscle.

    My only other advice: DO NOT WORKOUT WITH BAD SHIN SPLINTS.

    Took a trip to the MIR to have a Medi-tech inform me doing so could result in fractures. Would rather sit out on exercising for a week than get a fractures.

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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yes, ice is great to treat these injuries. I get shin splints from time to time. Normally, this is caused by increasing my mileage too quickly, or running too much. I'll simply take some time off, which makes them go away for a while.

    I never thought about strengthening my calves, though. Thanks.

  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Comahawk wrote: »
    My only other advice: DO NOT WORKOUT WITH BAD SHIN SPLINTS.

    Mine seem kind of mild, in that once I get going the pain is pretty tolerable. I'm planning on playing Wednesday, am taking it super easy until then, and want to make sure it's not a terribad idea.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    oldsak wrote: »
    Comahawk wrote: »
    My only other advice: DO NOT WORKOUT WITH BAD SHIN SPLINTS.

    Mine seem kind of mild, in that once I get going the pain is pretty tolerable. I'm planning on playing Wednesday, am taking it super easy until then, and want to make sure it's not a terribad idea.

    Just to reiterate, I played outdoor rec soccer a couple years ago with indoor turf shoes, and I started getting shin splints near the middle of the season. I kept on playing, and then one game I just fell flat to the ground in severe pain.

    X-rays showed nothing, but a bone density scan later revealed stress fractures in both my shins.

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  • TelexTelex Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    sit in a chair, lay out a towel in front of you, and curl your toes in order to pull the towel toward you. If/when that gets too easy, start adding books to the end of the towel

    Massaging the shins with an ice cup is also more effective than just sticking ice on them

  • SloSlo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Massage your calves real nice before doing activity. I found that helped immensely.

  • SelnerSelner Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    How old are your shoes?

    It has been my experience that whenever I start to get shin splints it means my shoes have started to wear out. A quick trip to the shoe store, and poof, no more shin splints.

  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I was always taught to do two stretches to prevent them. It's easier to find a ledge or stair for the first. Position yourself so that the balls of your feet are on the ledge, and the heels are suspended in air. Using a controlled motion, lower yourself down by pivoting at the ankle, until your heels touch the ground. You can also do this on a flat surface, simply put your weight on your heels and pivot your feet upward. The second stretch is the inverse, basically start flat and stretch up to a tiptoes position. As with any stretch, hold the position for a few seconds.

  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    During Track I'd get shin splints something fierce. I'd always run a cool down lap backwards so that my toes were landing first and it seemed to help.

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