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How to Run to Avoid Shin Splints Quick?

10 Shin Split Secret: How to Run to Avoid Shin Splints Quick


  • Have you ever suffered from shin splints, to treat this injury did you try any of the following icing your shins & taking ibuprofen or Tylenol for inflammation, or trying to strengthen the shin muscles using a thera-band? how to run to avoid shin splints?
  • I’m willing to bet these didn’t work. Sure the ice and ibuprofen may have temporarily eased the pain.
how to run to avoid shin splints
  • But more often than not this pesky injury keeps coming back. Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is commonly referred to as shin splints. It is probably the most universally known running injury. This injury has halted most runners at some point in their careers.

How to Run to Avoid Shin Splints?

  • While it is possible to train through you should take the pain seriously. Today we’re going to look at what causes shin splints. How to prevent the injury from getting worse without stopping your training.
  • I Will provide research-backed options for shin splints, including a conservative and aggressive approach. 
  • Finally, if you are forced to stop running will advise you on how to safely resume training while avoiding the return of shin splints.

How Do I Know If I Have Shin Splints?

The shins are a group of muscles and bones that makes up the front lower part of your leg. Shin splints usually appear as an aching pain on the inside of the shin, near the border of the tibia and the calf muscles.

If you keep running on shin splints the pain will move to a sharp burning sensation and may hurt during your entire run or even when walking. The pain can spread out over many inches along the length of your shin bone or may be confined to a small area less than two inches long.

how to run to avoid shin splints quick

How to run to avoid shin splints? While it’s not the most common running injury. Medial tibial stress syndrome still accounts for about 5-6% of all running-related injuries. Unlike other injuries which seem to plague runners of all fitness levels.

Shin splints are much more common to new or beginning athletes. In a typical 3-month high school cross-country season for example, between 12-15% of runners on a typical team will suffer from shin splints.

What Causes Shin Splits?

  • The outdated theory on preventing shin splints was that tightness or weakness of the shin muscles causes them to tug at their insertion point, irritating the periosteum a thin skin-like structure that envelops the tibia itself.
  • This is why you may still read articles that recommend doing shin-strengthening exercises with the thera-band. However more recent and precise anatomic studies have demonstrated that the muscular insertions blamed for causing shin pains, do not correspond to the location of the injury.
  • How to run to avoid shin splints? Advanced medical imaging studies have illustrated that all overuse injuries to the tibia. Mild cases of shin splints to true stress fractures exist on a spectrum of bony injuries.
  • With this new information, scientists now think that the root cause of shin splints is the repeated stress on the bone during running. Caused not by straight-on impact, but by a slight bending of the bone when it is loaded.
  • Much like a beam in a bridge or in a skyscraper both slightly when it’s supporting a lot of weight your tibia bends backward slightly on impact with the ground, putting compressive forces on the medial side of the bone.
how to run to avoid shin splints

How to run to avoid shin splints? In healthy runners, the bone stress sustained during a long hard run is not a problem. The body responds to the stress on the bone by remodeling the tibia to be stronger and thicker.

Unfortunately, this remodeling process takes several weeks to a few months to complete, and there is a period when the bone is more vulnerable to damage. This is why shin problems are more common in new runners. Their bones have not yet adapted to the stresses of a high-impact activity like running.

Just like remodeling your house entails tearing out some of the walls, before adding new construction your body has to tear out some of the old bone tissue before strengthening it.

As a result, having a smaller tibia or bone mass puts you at an increased risk for shin splints, since your weakened tibia is more susceptible to injury during its remodeling phase

How Do I Treat Shin Splints?

Unlike some other running injuries, there are no solidly vetted treatments for shin splints. However, we hope the following options provide some relief.

Conservative Treatment Options:

How to run to avoid shin splints? These are methods that are fairly simple, inexpensive, and can be done on your own at home.

1. Increase Stride Frequency

You can work to reduce stress on the tibia by increasing your stride frequency by 10% or so.

how to run to avoid shin splints

Getting closer to a cadence of 180 steps per minute can help you avoid striding an excessive impact that occurs with each foot strike.

Our previous blog post on how to run & keep pace with good form provides form cues that will help you develop a shorter more efficient running gait.

2. Modify Your Training

Another way to put less stress on the tibia is to modify your weekly volume. You can do this by reducing the mileage, intensity, and duration of your runs until your body is better adapted to the training.

Remember it can take several weeks to a few months for the tibia to heal.

3. Improve Calf Strength

Perform calf raises starting with 1 set of 20 repeats and building the 3 sets of 20 or more twice per day. You can do this with straight legs and bent knees to target different areas of the calf.

The calves are the largest muscle group in the lower leg. Research has shown that strengthening this area will help you stabilize the tibia with each impact.

how to avoid shin splints

The size of your calves is directly related to the size and strength of your tibia since the tibia grows in response to the muscles around it. Studies have found that female runners with a smaller calf circumference have a much higher risk of developing tibial stress fractures.

So it’s not surprising that runners with shin splints tend to have poor calf strength.

4. Orthotics

Custom inserts may shift the distribution of pressure on the bottom of the foot, which may be a source of shin pain.

This is a good sign as many other injuries respond poorly to treatment with orthotics. Also, many runners find success with over-the-counter semi-rigid orthotics like the insoles made by super feet or power step.

These are much cheaper than custom orthotics. So give them a shot first.

Aggressive Treatment Options:

How to run to avoid shin splints? These are treatments with more cost and fewer certain outcomes. But they may prove useful for some runners.

1. Change the Shoes

  • Consider running in a thinner firmer shoe on a harder surface. While the actual benefit for people a shin pain is not yet proven. Biomechanics research has linked soft surfaces and soft shoes with higher leg stiffness.
  • Which itself is connected to higher shocks traveling up the tibia on impact. You might think that running on a softer surface or in a more cushioned shoe would reduce impact.
  • But because the leg adjusts its stiffness to compensate, the actual force going into the ground hardly changes at all.
  • Some evidence suggests that running and thinner shoes on harder surfaces might be better since it lowers your leg stiffness.

2. Take Supplements

  • Consider taking a calcium and vitamin D supplement with 200% of your recommended daily value of both.
  • One study found that doing so can reduce the risk of tibial stress fractures by 25%. Since MTSS is on the same injury spectrum as a tibial stress fracture, it’s possible that these supplements can help prevent both conditions.

3. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy

  • Among more exotic treatments extracorporeal shockwave therapy ESWT has emerged in recent years as a possible solution. In ESWT shockwaves are applied directly to the tibia to encourage new bone growth.
  • Be warned that this treatment is not only expensive and difficult to find but there’s not much research yet to indicate its success rate.

What If None of These treatments Help?!

If the treatments we mentioned don’t help, you should probably be evaluated by a doctor for a tibial stress fracture. X-Rays can be pretty inaccurate in diagnosing stress fractures. So your doctor may request an MRI or a bone scan.

How To Resume running:

1. Mild cases of shin splints may only require modifying your running form and doing some lower leg strength. But more serious cases will require at least a few weeks off from running.

2. How to run to avoid shin splints? Keep in mind that shin splints are the same type of injury as a stress fracture, so if you feel like your shin injury is getting worse you should not continue running on it.

3. While many coaches recommend that a 10% rule for increasing mileage is best to avoid injury. This is not a magic rule, the dynamics of the tibia’s healing mechanism suggest that perhaps a stress adaptation cycle would be better.

4. Instead of increasing mileage every week by 10%, you might increase by 10% for 3 weeks and then take a down week to allow your tibia to recover.

how to run to avoid shin splints

For example, you might run 40, 45, and 50 miles respectively before dropping down to 40 miles per week. Then you should be able to go back up to say 50 miles the following week. Incorporating different forms of cross-training will allow you more time to recover while maintaining your fitness.

Remember, it’s always safer to take additional rest rather than to run through the pain and risk having to take more time off from running.

Strength Training For Shin Splints:

How to run to avoid shin splints? As I mentioned earlier improving calf strength, hip strength and abductor strength can be an effective Prevention for shin splints.

By performing the following routine you’ll now be targeting the real cause of your shin pain, rather than strengthening a muscle that doesn’t contribute to the injury. Start by doing these four exercises 2-3 times per week.

1. Clam Shells (20 reps per leg)

  • Place the resistance band around both legs just above the knees. Lie on one side with your knees at a 45-degree angle with your legs and hips stacked.
  • Rest your head on your lower arm and use your top arm to steady your frame. Be sure that your hip bones are stacked on top of one another, as there is a tendency for the top hip to rock backward.
how to run to avoid shin splints
  • Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button in, as this will help to stabilize your spine and pelvis. Keep your feet in contact with one another, as you raise your upper knee as high as you can without moving the hips or pelvis.
  • If you’re new to this routine or don’t have the proper equipment you can do the same exercise without a resistance band.

2. Eccentric Calf Raises ( 25reps per leg)

  • Stand on the balls of your feet with your heels hanging off a step or elevated surface.
  • You can support yourself for balance if necessary but don’t use your hands for upward assistance.
how to run to avoid shin splints
  • Slowly lower yourself down with one leg and use the other leg to raise yourself back into a tiptoe position. For an added challenge you can wear a weighted backpack once these become too easy.

3. Donkey Kicks With a Resistance Band (15-25 reps per leg)

  • Get on all fours so that your hands are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips.
how to run to avoid shin splints
  • Squeezing your glutes to activate them lifts one leg behind you, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees until the sole is facing the ceiling.
  • Lift the leg to hip level while keeping the rest of your body still, taking particular care not to let your hips sag. Then bring it slowly back down to the starting position.

4. Hip Thrusts (15-25 reps per leg)

  • Start by lying flat on your back with both knees bent, with your arms at your sides lift one leg upward. At the top of the movement your body should be in a straight line from your knee to your head.
  • For an added balance challenge rest one foot on the medicine ball or Swiss ball while you lift the other leg.
how to run to avoid shin splints
  • Check out our hip strength routine below you can add those exercises to the routine we just covered for a total of eight exercises


Did you learn something new today ( how to run to avoid shin splints?), have you ever suffered from shin splints? what running injury or topic should we cover? next drop us a comment below and share with your athlete’s friends.

Best of luck with your training and until next time have a great run today.

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