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  • Possible shin spins or problems with form

    I've read over the sub-threads within the thread for shin splints. They seemed to be keyed toward how to heal shin splints. So I haven't found an answer I've been looking for and believe it is now an appropriate time to ask my question in a thread.

    My running background is simple some backyard sports (mostly basketball) and little stretching. In the past month sense I have dedicated myself fully to the PTG, I have been running 3 times a week like advised. I started low (only 1 mile runs and 5 minute CHI's and 4 x 200 yard INT) and I worked my way up slowly. I increased a lap for LSD, :30 for CHI, and 100 yards for INT each week. I've become more aware of my running ability. My run the prior week was a 2 mile run, 9 min CHI and 4 x 300 yard INT.

    Once I got up to a mile and 3 laps (on a track, 1.75 miles) I had a tight anterior tibualis on one side that was really beginning to give me pain. Which for that given day cut me off short of my run. I assumed it might have been my warm-up; at the time it wasn't much of a warm-up just a jogged lap and some stretching. So I read up on warm-up importance in the "START HERE" threads Mr. Caviston has posted. The next run I did was a CHI and my warm-up was 2 laps and 4 x 100 yard sprints at a warm-up pace and not completely all out. I ran my CHI and it didn't give me to many problems. It was tight at first, but after my second lap into the workout it faded and I was focused on the run.

    After that run I went home and foam rolled them out by getting on all fours with my knees on the foam roller; with all my body weight on the roller I would bring my knees to my chest roll the foam roller over my shin bones. It didn't feel to great. I'd describe the pain as if rolling over a bruise. I did this every morning and night and any other time I felt it was necessary. (I run in the mornings before school so I wake up before the run itself and roll my shins out usually in 3 sets rolling them about 8-9 times as if it was my IT band [following the injury prevention guidelines])

    The next week I did my LSD and when I was warming up my shins felt like they had bruises on them; visibly there were none. I performed my run after the warm-up. There was some pain in the vertical center of my shins. (very minor, felt like a minor bruise, was only frustrating) After the second or third lap the pain went away. The tibualis muscle felt like it had taken over the impact absorption at that point and I didn't think about it.

    I still continue to roll my shins and it feels better when I'm doing so, but the pain in my shins when I warm-up is still there and it goes away once I begin to get into the workout. And I have noticed that their are some very faint bruising on the vertical center of my shins. When I push on them there is very little pain. When I do jump rope tip jumping to stretch my calves before I run during my warm-up, I feel pain in them but again this is all minor.

    My questions are:
    Am I possibly developing shin splints?
    If so, am I taking correct precautions to keep them at bay for the time being?
    What might be the cause of it?

    I am also looking into new footwear. At the moment, I'm just using basic running shoes. They are not calibrated to my style of running in anyway.

    Thanks
    Tristan

  • #2
    Re: Possible shin spins or problems with form

    Originally posted by Tristan View Post
    I've read over the sub-threads within the thread for shin splints. They seemed to be keyed toward how to heal shin splints. So I haven't found an answer I've been looking for and believe it is now an appropriate time to ask my question in a thread.

    My running background is simple some backyard sports (mostly basketball) and little stretching. In the past month sense I have dedicated myself fully to the PTG, I have been running 3 times a week like advised. I started low (only 1 mile runs and 5 minute CHI's and 4 x 200 yard INT) and I worked my way up slowly. I increased a lap for LSD, :30 for CHI, and 100 yards for INT each week. I've become more aware of my running ability. My run the prior week was a 2 mile run, 9 min CHI and 4 x 300 yard INT.
    When speaking about "the prior week," I was comparing the prior week to the current one today.

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    • #3
      Re: Possible shin spins or problems with form

      I don't know if this is what is actually causing your shin splints, but you should definitely not be foam rolling on the bone at all. You said"After that run I went home and foam rolled them out by getting on all fours with my knees on the foam roller; with all my body weight on the roller I would bring my knees to my chest roll the foam roller over my shin bones". I don't know if you meant the muscle on the side of your shin(Anterior Tibialis) which would help. However if you actually are putting pressure on the bone its self, then you would be causing damage, and maybe even your shin splints. Which could also have resulted in the bruising feeling you felt the next week.

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      • #4
        Re: Possible shin spins or problems with form

        Originally posted by CTuff View Post
        I don't know if this is what is actually causing your shin splints, but you should definitely not be foam rolling on the bone at all. You said"After that run I went home and foam rolled them out by getting on all fours with my knees on the foam roller; with all my body weight on the roller I would bring my knees to my chest roll the foam roller over my shin bones". I don't know if you meant the muscle on the side of your shin(Anterior Tibialis) which would help. However if you actually are putting pressure on the bone its self, then you would be causing damage, and maybe even your shin splints. Which could also have resulted in the bruising feeling you felt the next week.
        I try to focus the pressure on the anterior tibialis but the shin bone also takes some of the weight regardless. I'm not to sure of any other way to foam roll the muscle only. I've tried but I end up in awkward positions that don't feel like they are doing much. I will follow up with some more research on ways to stretch the muscle but if you have any advice please let me know.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Possible shin spins or problems with form

          Shin splints are caused by a lack of flexibility in the calf and achilles tendon.

          Your ankle needs to be able to bend upward at about 20 degrees relative to your shin when you run in order to properly absorb the shock of each foot strike. If you lack the required flexibility in your calf and achilles tendon to allow your ankle to bend this way, your ankle will look for other ways to obtain this angle/absorb the foot strike. Where it ends up looking is in the shin. Your shins end up taking the brunt of the foot strike force. Since the shins are solid bones and not joints designed to flex and bend, they absorb force in an unnatural way, causing pain. The accumulation of this over time, from mile after mile after mile of running, will cause shin splints and even stress fractures in the tibia. You do seem to be developing shin splints.

          You mention you have a minimal running background.Shin splints are pretty typical of guys who don't have the miles behind them of someone who runs track or cross country, but anyone can develop them. People that get them might also have a slight genetic predisposition to obtaining them more easily.

          At any rate, the solution for you is to stretch the hell out of your calves and achilles tendons in an almost religious manner, multiple times per day. I know it seems obsessive, but if it is a flexibility issue (which I am almost certain of), the best method is "greasing the groove", or multiple sessions of short flexibility sessions. Stretch your calf by leaning up against a wall with one leg back, or hanging a heel over a bench or step and letting your body weight do the stretching. Go slow and back off a bit if it becomes painful. Bend the leg you are stretching slightly to stretch the achilles tendon more directly. Hold for 30 seconds on each, for each side. Try for 3 x 30 seconds and shake out your calf after each set.

          I am a HUGE fan of foam rolling and am happy to read you are using one. You should think about using it on your calf and achilles tendons as well prior to statically stretching them. You could do that before and/or after your runs. I respect CTuff's opinion, but I personally think you are doing the right thing with rolling your shins. Here's why:

          Shin splints go hand in hand with inflammation. Foam rolling is a way to lower pooled inflammation by creating more circulation to the area being rolled and helps remove metabolic waste IF done correctly (slowly and with care basically - ease off full bodyweight). You are rolling your shin, but your perronials sit right next to them and that will help relax them, which will take pressure off your shin. The bottom line is that if it helps the pain to go away, you are doing the right thing. Instead of just rolling them back and fourth vigorously, try going slow and even pausing on really sensitive areas. I won't go into all the science stuff behind it, but this will help most effectively by relaxing the area.

          Finally, you might want to do this after your runs. It will feel amazing:

          Buy some paper cups (like dixie cups or coffee cups). The night before you run, fill them with water to the brim and put them in the freezer. After your run the next day, just take one of the ice cups and rub it up and down on your shins. If you got some shin pain, this will feel absolutly amazing. You can peel back some of the paper to expose more of the ice.

          Alright man, hope this all helps. Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Possible shin spins or problems with form

            Alright. I've sense assessed my shin splints and was going to take a week off and I'm going to stretch and ice. I'm going to ice 20 minutes a day and foam roll over my anterior tibialis to the best of my ability; 8-9 cycles, 3 sets , both sides. Then I'll rehab the shin muscle over the week after to strengthen it. I believe my calves are very flexible. I've always stretched 3 x :30 after workout; both layers. So I don't think it is the ankle flexibility but I'll religiously stretch them and reassess my flexibility in a week. I feel that would be a good way to relieve shin splints. I also believe I progressed in mileage too quickly and didn't give my muscles time to become accustom. So I reconstructed a progression table for running. I plan to continue the icing for a month (3-4 weeks) after recovery along with excessive stretching to prevent reoccurring splints.

            If anyone has constructive criticism to add, please feel free.

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