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Shin Splints with Running by Tony Aboseff

What is it?

Formally known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome AKA Shin Splints.This is pain Primarily along the inside of the tibia, shin bone, but can also occur on the outer side of the bone in the muscle belly (anterior tibialis region). Typically, the pain is present when running, secondary to impact but can also be present after running. Usually, you will feel a sharp or shooting type of pain close to the shin bone with each impactful step. This can be extremely frustrating and debilitating to those who want to keep running.


Shin Splints can occur for many reasons and treatment will be different based on source of pain. The pain can be caused from either the tibia itself aka bone pain or the muscles in the front of the shin aka muscular pain.

Bone Pain: excessive stress to the tibia can lead to a stress reaction (irritation to the casing around the bone) or stress fracture (damage to the tibia bone itself).

Muscular Pain: weakness in the muscles themselves, restriction of the fascia (casing around the muscle belly), or poor circulation to the muscles of the lower leg.

*Pain in the bone or along the bone.

*Striking outside the base of support vs striking within base of support.

Points to consider:
  • Strike pattern with running

  • Running Shoes

  • Running program (Too much, too soon)

  • Nutrition

  • Bone Density and other medical conditions

Fix 1: Shoes & Mechanics

  • Have a professional asses your running shoes to ensure Appropriate shoes for your body and foot type. Here is a link to the HruskaClinic shoe list which is updated every 6 months.

  • If possible get a running analysis to better understand your running mechanics overall. Suggested cadence would be anywhere between 165 and 180 steps per minute.This will help reduce ground time and overall impact.

Fix 2: Soft Tissue Release

  • Work on the fascia and muscles in the shin

    • Lacrosse ball rolling or other mobility tools directed to the anterior tibialis or manual massage up and down the shin to help loosen those muscles.

    • Compression sleeves can also help reduce pain with running.

  • Mobility video by Kelly Starrett below

Fix 3: Strengthening

  • Strengthen your core followed by your hips

    • If your muscles are strong enough to take the impact it will save your bones from having to deal with all the force.

  • Five of my favorite strength exercises for runners

  1. Weighted lunges

  2. Planks (plus variations)

  3. Squats

  4. Power Cleans

  5. Sled push/pull


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