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James Forshaw 10-05-2008 04:28 AM

Shin Splints and Squatting
I'm pretty certain I have shin splints - completely painless, then bone pain on the anterior part of my tibias after literally 10m of running (this happens every time I try to run). I know you aren't supposed to run for at least 3 weeks, but does this period of rest mean abstinence from squatting and rowing in addition to running? Because I can knock off an extended set of air squats without pain. This would help a lot, as I could maintain an adequate level of fitness if I was still allowed to squat and row.

I only ask as I don't want to load up a heavy barbell and find that my shins can't take it when in the AtG position...

Thanks in advance

Elliot Fuller 10-05-2008 08:26 AM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
I never have shin problems (and I have severe shin splints) when doing anything other than running or jumping. I usually lunge, squat, deadlift, etc. w/o any problem. Along with R.I.C.E., these exercises are probably pretty helpful towards recovery, actually.

As long as there's no impacting, I seem to be fine with squatting and all of that other good stuff. YMMV... just pay attention to when there's pain.

Donald Lee 10-05-2008 10:32 AM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
Squatting should be fine. I started SS because I had shin splints. Rowing might be painful. I couldn't even do the elliptical because it was too painful. I couldn't walk right because of the pain, but I could sure squat.

Don't try to run again until all the inflammation is gone. You know how to feel around for the inflammation? In case you don't, push around the area right in between your shin bone and your calf muscles.

Teri Leslie 10-05-2008 10:39 AM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
Hey, James;

I've gone through years of shin problems that weren't shin splints, where the pain came after the run.. the problem was a combination of the large calf muscle pulling on the front of the shin (stretch!), shoes with appropriate support, and surface (ie: pavement, grass, etc.).
Even when I was on top of all three components, I still had issues when I ran regularly for more than 30 minutes.

Just last week I was introduced to the "POSE" (simulates running barefoot) method of running, and my shins felt great! I was running on pavement, and my shins were fine.
The "heel-toe" strike combined with foot placement (old running style) was likely more to blame than anything else with respect to my shin problems.

I agree with the previous post: Pain = stop!

But you may want to check out POSE running..

Cheers :)

James Forshaw 10-05-2008 01:42 PM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
Thanks for the advice, I guess I'm just going to have to get used to not running. I took tylenol this morning and set a Fran PR as my WOD, so I sure can squat still :)

Donald, should I be feeling around for something tactile or for a pain sensation? Actually, I've just done it and there is a small spot almost exactly on the midpoint between my knee and the floor that is exquisitely painful to press - on the posterior surface of tibia - on both shins.

Teri, do you advise straightforward calf stretching before working out each day? I've been trying to perfect my pose for a while now, and I do it during workouts. Most workouts I sprint anyway, which means I'm automatically on the balls of my feet, but I think I've got the splints from soccer as when I jog about I don't pose.

Elliot Fuller 10-05-2008 08:01 PM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
Keep in mind that running on the balls of your feet is not POSE, by definition. POSE involves landing under your center of mass. As long as you're landing out in front of your center of mass, whether you're on the balls of your feet or not, you will be creating some breaking motion, and will be putting yourself at risk for shin splints. I've had some of my worst cases while trying out POSE.

I would stretch every day, whether you're running or not. In the past 2 weeks, I've finally started self myofascial release using the TriggerPoint rollers and foot-ballers. Together with routine icing and no running, I've never felt my shins recover so quickly. They are still painful to the touch, if I apply enough pressure, but I feel like I could run a couple of miles on them without much issue at this point (although doing so would be terribly, terribly unwise).

So... yes. Stretch, foam roll, massage, ice, rest. All of that is great.

Emily Maisannes 10-05-2008 08:14 PM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
The rule of thumb for dealing with shin splints is to do activities that do not cause pain. If you can squat without pain, then go ahead and do them.

I suffered from shin splints whenever I tried running. I always had. I tried running track in high school and ended up having to quit halfway into the season because I had already developed stress fractures. No amount of leg exercises or stretching was helping at all. I tried everything including ice massage and anti-inflammatories.

Then on a whim I decided to try running again. I went to a store called Pacers that analyzes your gait and feet and selects the correct shoe to correct your gait and posture. I figured I'd just try and see. For the first time in my life, I have been able to run pain free. It has been amazing. I could give you my brand of shoe, but that was the correct shoe for my feet. Yours may be different. Try finding a store in your area that provides a similar service and you may not have to give up on running all together.

Donald Lee 10-05-2008 08:37 PM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
Try stretching your shins and strengthening your shins, in addition to foam rolling, etc.

However, don't ramp up your running too quickly whenever you do start running again. Treat your shin splints just as if you injured your lower back. Just because you don't feel the pain doesn't mean that it's fully healed. You have to rehab your shins just like other injuries.

After 3 months not running, I began doing short intervals, and within a month the shin splints came back.

Teri Leslie 10-05-2008 11:12 PM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
There's some great advice on this thread!

I know a lot of folks don't recommend stretching "cold", but for me, and specifically for my shins, I've found two stretches (pre-workout) that have helped me..

1). "Downward Dog" pose from yoga, getting the heels to the ground really helps my calves, hips, hamstrings, etc. when I do it properly..

2). Kneeling on the ground, shins and top of your feet are flat against the floor (should be done on carpet or a mat). Lean back until you feel the stretch in the front of your shins (don't push it if it's painful).

After I've done my workout warm-up, I still stretch my calves out in the "classic" stretch, support against a wall or post and stretch one leg at a time.

Good luck, hope things heal quickly! :run:

Tim Wheeler 10-06-2008 08:29 PM

Re: Shin Splints and Squatting
I am dealing with shin splints for the first time ever from trying to get the pose running right. I guess my feet aren't landing correctly. So far my two worst injuries are from trying to switch to pose running. I'm not giving up yet, but I suggest people take it easy on mileage when switching and don't get too excited and carried away with those vibram's!!

Anyway, back to the main topic, I did heavy squats yesterday day with no pain.

Today I did some push jerks and it felt like my shins could snap at any moment. That probably wasn't good for the shin splint healing process.

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