If you’re someone who’s been running quite regularly, there’s a very good chance that at some point or another, you are going to experience shin splits.  Shin splits can be quite a devastating injury for any runner as you may feel your fitness slipping down the drain.

When you set out to hit the pavement and are struck by debilitating pain, continuing is not an option. While not all runners experience this degree of shin split pain, some do.

However intense your pain is, one thing is for certain and that is that you are going to be on the hunt to find a way to deal with this.

Let’s look at five ways that you can deal with shin splits so you can combat the frustration that typically comes with them.

Move To The Treadmill And Buy New Shoes

First, you might just need to take your running from the outdoor environment, indoors. Being on a cushioned surface is going to mean that you are not experiencing quite the amount of shock to your shins, which can sometimes lessen the pain.

Since treadmills have more cushioning support than outdoor pavement does, this can be a great option. In addition to that, also make sure that you invest in some new running shoes as well as that too may be what’s needed to cushion those bones better.

Furthermore, you should also cut back slightly on your running as you do this to give your shins a break.  This can help to promote the healing process.

Ice, Ice, Ice

Next, if you are in great pain after a run, ice is your best friend. Ice the area immediately after to take down any inflammation and swelling. You may have to do this quite regularly if you must keep up your runs. But if it’s really painful, you should just stop running for a while, take some rest and make sure to ice regularly until you have the injury under control.

For those who suffer from recurring shin splits, a combination of reduced running volume on an ongoing basis and icing after every run will be your only option.

Loosen Up

Sometimes, shin splits can be caused by tight muscles surrounding the shins as well. This can create tension forces acting on the shins, which will then mean that you are going to be in great pain throughout the run.

If you are a runner who isn’t quite as flexible as you could be, doing some regular stretching activities is a very smart move.  You’ll want to focus on stretching the calves and hamstrings most as these are two muscle groups that do tend to be very tight in runners and often need to be loosened up the most.

Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds to get full effects and make sure you are stretching multiple times per week, as well as before each run (after doing a light warm-up).

Cross Train

If you are in great pain from your shin splits and continuing running doesn’t look like it’s going to be a viable solution, then you’ll want to consider cross training instead.

You don’t have to lose your fitness level entirely just because you’re out with an injury. Instead, do another form of activity that is low-impact in nature so it doesn’t cause any aggravation to your shins.

If you feel any sort of pain whatsoever while doing this activity, discontinue immediately as that will only likely lead to hindering your recovery.

You might also want to see a physiotherapist, who can help treat you for your shin splints and recommend some safe cross training exercises to be doing.

These specialists can also help you learn additional strengthening exercises you might perform to strengthen the ligaments and tendons around the shin, reducing your chances of re-injury in the future.

If you’ve suffered from shin splits once, your chances of re-injury will tend to be quite high, so prevention will be key from that day forward.

As always, make sure you aren’t doing too much, too soon as well. This is the leading cause of shin splints in the first place, so by monitoring your routine, you can make sure that isn’t going to occur. Use a proper trainer such as the C25K Trainer to build up gradually at a safe pace that is much less likely to result in injury.

So there you have some tips for dealing with shin splints. What has been your experience with this injury? How have you managed to overcome it?