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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.