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Shin Splints During Daily Steps

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  • Shin Splints During Daily Steps

    I did a Google search of the site and didn't find the answer I was looking for, so I didn't see the harm in asking. Essentially I'm decently well trained in lifting (hit a 600 deadlift single right before my gym closed due to coronavirus), but still have trouble with simple walks. The issue is shin splints (or what I believe to be shin splints) that are almost debilitating on the pain scale. They get to the point that I can barely hobble back home. I have always had these and have never found a solution. I have tried alternative shoes, compression, and even changing the way I walk to no avail. I read the Pain in Training article but I'm failing to come up with a plan, or entry point, since the exercise in question is so simple. The pain isn't instantaneous-- it usually takes about 10 minutes of walking-- but once it starts it progressively gets worse until I need to stop entirely, at which point it subsides enough that I can get back home. Taking time off hasn't fixed the issue, and consistently training through it exacerbates the pain until it reaches its peak far quicker than 10 minutes. Once I'm home and resting the pain rapidly subsides.

    Oddly nothing else causes this pain. I rarely feel it while walking around the store or activities of that nature either. It's only from a consistently paced walk.

    Have you dealt with this before in any of your clients? Are there any known strategies for dealing with this specific pain?


  • #2
    I'll take a guess:

    If you hurt at 10 minutes, plan to go for a 7-minute walk (or whatever you can handle) each day for this week and next. Then increase to 10 minutes the next two weeks. And up and up over time to build a tolerance.


    • #3
      an under 10 minute walk appears as though it would be a reasonable entry point. If you are forced to miss your step goals in the short term that doesn't seem like a terribly big deal to me, but maybe you could add LISS (assuming you have another form of cardio that is pain free) to alleviate this compromise while you slowly build up your walking capacity.


      • #4
        Another thought--what happens with multiple short walks throughout the day? Does 5 9 minute walks trigger it in a single day?


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. It seems as though I don't build up a tolerance, as this has been a life long issue, but I know that kind of pessimism is unrealistic and frowned upon here (for good reason). I was hoping to hear from one of the BBM staff on shin splints in general.


          • #6
            I agree with the responses you've gotten so far.

            Shin splints are a loading issue and I agree with the idea of finding a tolerable entry point and gradually working up from there. We have never encountered an individual who, with reasonably programmed training, fails to adapt or build any degree of increased capacity.

            Your report of a lack of improvement leads us to two possibilities:

            1) Your programming may not be appropriate to facilitate this process.

            2) You don't actually have spin splints, but rather something else. We don't have any demographic information or other medical history that would lead us to be concerned about things like vascular claudication, exertion compartment syndrome, etc., but if you are having this much difficulty finding a way to achieve your walking goals using our free resources, it sounds like the next step would involve a consultation with our rehab staff.
            IG / YT


            • #7
              Thanks Dr. Baraki. I'm going to get as many steps in as possible before the pain reaches its peak and try to increase that number daily. I need to change my defeatist attitude that a 10 minute walk is fruitless and instead consider it an entry point.

              If the symptoms fail to improve I'll most assuredly look into a consultation.


              • #8
                Any update on this? What you are describing sounds eerily similar to what I've been experiencing the last few months. My pt just thinks it is "muscle tightness", whatever that means (I am going to a regular doctor to get a referral to see a specialist next week to get a second opinion).


                • #9
                  Hey, funnily enough I made this thread right before taking nearly a year off due to covid and some mental health issues. Now that I'm back at it I did actually "solve" the shin splints via a few methods:

                  1. Shoes: I'm not convinced this one isn't simply placebo, but I switched to some stabilizing shoes (Brook's The Beast) and noticed an immediate improvement.
                  2. Starting slower: instead of immediately hitting my RPE 7-8 pace I would do 5 to 10 minutes at 5 then ramp up over the course of the walk.
                  3. Changed my walking technique: I shortened my gait and found it took away that feeling of landing heavily, which would send shockwaves up my shins.

                  Honestly it just comes down to what the helpful posters and Dr. Baraki said in here-- I found an entry point and built up from there. I get 10,000 steps daily now and it's actually my main source of low impact training. I hope you find relief! I know how debilitating that specific pain can be!


                  • #10
                    I completely forgot about this for a year, I saw a doctor not long after I posted and turns out I do in fact have extertional compartment syndrome . It has since gotten better, it probably helped that I lost 20 lbs.


                    • #11
                      Tibialis raises wired for me.