Shin splints are no fun. They are usually caused by chronic overuse or over stressing the muscles on the front and sides of your shins. Long distance runners often get them, but you can get them just from wearing the wrong shoes, being over weight, or over training in other ways.
Are shin splints holding you back? Does it hurt to walk or run? I’ve been there! I’ve dealt with shin splints on and off my entire life. The first time I experienced shin splints was over twenty years ago, and it still bothered me up until about a year ago. I thought I would forever be plagued by shin splints. How to treat them eluded me for so long. Up until then, I didn’t think there was a good treatment for shin splints, until I read the “Stop Shin Splints Forever” book and followed the program.
What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints, are a painful, inflammatory injury, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints are caused by stress to the shinbone and connective tissue that attach the muscles to the bones.
I was a district 1 state cross country runner in my home state in high school, and we were running an insane amount of miles each week. I remember my senior year in high school I ran the state meet like Frankenstein’s monster. Before the meet, I went to the doctor, got cortisone shot in my shins, and then the doctor wrapped my shins in giant lidocaine patches.
Shin Splints and Stress Fractures
The scariest thing my doctor told me was that I had both shin splints and stress fractures. I had ignored the pain for so long and just ran through it that my shin splints turned into stress fractures. Shin Splints symptoms are virtually the same for stress fracture symptoms, so I had no idea that I had developed stress fractures.
Okay, you might be asking yourself, “Shin splints vs. stress fracture, what’s the difference?”
The main difference between shin splints and stress fractures are that shin splints are mainly pain and inflammation whereas stress fractures in your shin are actually hairline fractures going through your shinbone.
I Ran Anyway
My doctor strongly advised me to not run the state meet. However, it was the state meet, so yeah, I was running no matter what! Even with all of medicine and science propping me up and keeping me walking, I was in excruciating pain just getting around, let alone running.
So when the race started, I immediately knew I was screwed. I ran my best, but it was awful and hurt so bad. My performance suffered as a result, and I finished about a minute behind my best 5k time and felt like I let my whole team down. Not only that, after the meet, I collapsed and had to be helped around by my teammates. Eventually someone got me a pair of crutches. I had shin splints so bad I was using crutches!
Let that sink in for a moment. Shin splints can get so bad that they could leave you using crutches.
The worst part about it for me was not the pain, but the disappointment in myself and feeling like I let my teammates and my school down. If it wasn’t for shin splints, and I had run my usual race, we would have placed as a team in the state meet, which would have been a MAJOR accomplishment.
Now I tell all young runners to take it easy if they start noticing pain in their shins and to talk to a doctor or physical therapist about it. Also, try new pairs of shoes. Sometimes a new pair of shoes that changes your running alignment can make a big difference and alleviate some of the pain. If for some reason those things are not working, like they didn’t work for me, there are options out there that can help and even completely eradicate shin pain.
Treatment for Shin Splints
So after suffering with shin splints for years and years (literally over a 20 year running career) and finally giving up, after even considering shin splints surgery, I stumbled across some new information that changed my running life.
A friend in my running club recommended a shin splints treatment program called “Stop Shin Splints Forever.” So I picked up a copy, read through the book and followed the program to a T for 8 weeks. This is a shin splints home remedy designed by a physical therapist, so I was able to do it from home without needing a doctor or physical therapist. It took some dedication and discipline to keep with it (no worse than marathon training — trust me!), but it paid off. I am running regularly again, and the shin pain is gone.
I’ve been running pain free for over a year now and just wanted to share this with you all. I highly recommend this book if you are suffering from shin splints like I was. Shin splints are a thing of the past for me, and can be for you too if you want.
I wish I would have found this 20 years ago!
I’ll share the link to the book below:
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