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Shin splints

(11 Posts)
Kungfupanda67 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:45:08

I’ve recently joined the gym and have started running. I’m really unfit, quite overweight and a complete beginner at any sort of exercise, so am starting slowly, 10 minutes alternating between jogging and fast walking, then strength training and some rowing or cycling, so the only impact bit is the jog/walk. I’m also only going 3 times a week at the moment, so I’m really trying to ease myself into it.

My shins are agony after, sometimes for a couple of days, sometimes starting while I’m running and sometimes the next day. What can I do? It’s reallt affecting my motivation to go, because for the first time ever I’m actually enjoying running buts it’s hurting.

Any ideas would be much appreciated smile

Kungfupanda67 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:46:06

Forgot to say I’ve been going for about a month or 2, and am gradually increasing how long I can run for before I slow down to walking for a bit.

nbee84 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:18:39

My first thought would be to check your trainers. Are they an old pair? Do they support your feet correctly?

Kungfupanda67 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:26:26

I don’t really know - they’re a couple of years old (not really worn until now though blush) but they weren’t expensive.
What kind of trainers do I need? I thought the battle was getting myself to the gym, I didn’t think I’d have to keep remotivating myself every 5 minutes!

greenelephantscarf Thu 11-Apr-19 21:28:19

you need a break.
if you don't the inflammation could cause a stress fracture.
and yes to shoes. most common cause are too small, too tightly tied shoes, wrong fit. too bouncy or too much pronation (bending at the ankle. you might need orthotic insoles.

Kungfupanda67 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:44:25

How do I work out whAts wrong with the shoes? I’ve always had slightly bendy-in feet (according to my mum when I used to borrow her shoes)

greenelephantscarf Thu 11-Apr-19 22:37:09

gait analysis on a treadmill in a proper running shop.
sometimes gyms also offer that.
but most importantly for now - rest. you can still walk or cycle until the 'bruiselike' feeling is gone. then new shoes and slow start again.

shitpark Thu 11-Apr-19 23:24:07

Agree re trainers, they may be the wrong ones for you. Also make sure you warm up, and stretch afterwards. Sometimes tight calf muscles can be a cause of shin splints. So even though the other things might not be impact exercise in the way running is, if your calf muscles are tight this will still cause problems

Fatted Thu 11-Apr-19 23:26:37

Like others have said, you need proper running trainers. Also don't rule out the possibility of being flat footed, my DH had terrible shin and ankle pain as a teen because of flat feet. He now has supportive insoles.

Kungfupanda67 Fri 12-Apr-19 06:58:21

Thanks for your advice everyone

BeansandRice Fri 12-Apr-19 15:37:40

Proper trainers as PP have said.

And get ye to a physiotherpist (my gym has a physio practice attached, and a 10% discount) to be taught some appropriate stretches. Just one session should be enough - they'll check your gait, your alignment, and your movement.

When I got the start of shin splints (yonks ago when I was young & ignorant & broke and didn't think my shoes mattered) my PT recommended a range of types of shoes - she recommended cross-trainers for me for aerobics & running.

So, the stretches are to stretch your calves, but also the muscles running down the front of your shins: the runner's calf stretch, and hold it for a good count of 8 to 10. Do it with the foot in different alignments:
pointing straight ahead
toes turned in from the ankle
toes & foot turned out

Keep your hips & pelvis aligned & facing forwards - as if there is a headlamp on each iliac crest (bony bit of the pelvis at the front) - don't let the hip of the back leg turn out towards the leg stretching behind you.

Breathe out as your stretch the back leg.

To get an even more intense stretch, prop the toes of the front leg up against the wall, so you just have your heel on the ground. You'll feel it up the shin. It feels good after you get used to the stretch 'pain' (it's not pain).

It's pretty easy to find reasonably expert guides to calf stretches online, on Instagram, and on YouTube (eg below), but I'd say go to a physio first. It's worth the £30 or so.

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