I had mentioned in a different post that I've recently struggled with shin splints to the point that my doctor has "forbidden" me to jog for the next couple months. I received an email asking me to post about the recommendations my doctor gave me - so here goes.
First, I would say if you have bad shin splints which cause pain when you are walking (as I did) I highly recommend you visit your doctor. Also, I have found some good articles about shin splints on this website.
I had started a 5k walking/jogging program and developed shin splints to the point that even after icing my shins they hurt when I just did normal walking around my house and the office the next day.
I visited a podiatrist and he took x-rays to make sure it was an issue with the muscles that run along my shin bone and not any problems with the bones themselves. Thankfully, my bones were fine.
In a nutshell shin splints are caused by an imbalance in how the muscles in your leg are working. Many people get them and one cause can be to increase your exercise routine (speed and/or distance) too soon. In my case they were exasperated by the fact that I roll my feet inward when I walk. This caused a lot of strain on my muscles.
Icing helped some but my podiatrist told me no more jogging for about 2 months to give my legs time to heal. He has also recommend inserts for my shoes to correct my imbalance issues due to how I walk. I am going in later this week to get them.
However, one thing that he had me start doing at least 3 times a week are some exercises to strengthen the muscles that run along my shin bone. He recommended I use a resistance band when doing this although I have found that I can do them without and still get pretty good results.
I wrap a resistance band around my foot (just below my toes) and either have someone hold it to give some resistance or I can tie them to something. I can also cross my leg so my ankle is resting on the knee of my other leg and use my opposite hand to hold the band and give resistance. The resistance should be gently pulling your foot down.
I then flex my foot straight up and hold it for about 10 seconds. I do 5 reps of this on each foot. I also do the same number of reps flexing my foot up and slightly in to strengthen the muscles that are strained by the way I place my weight when I walk.
When I do these correctly I can feel a slight burning sensation in my muscles by the end of the reps and they are slightly sore. Just like any good workout.
It has been less than 3 weeks since I went to the podiatrist and my shin splints have totally stopped bothering me and I have been able to start up the 5k walking program here on Spark without any issues with the shin splints coming back.
I have high hopes that the inserts and another month of walking will allow me to start one of the jogging programs afterwards. My ultimate goal at this time is to jog a 30min 5k by the end of the year.
Has anyone else had shin splints to this extent where it affected you more than just when you exercised and what did you find was needed to help?
| current weight: 185.0