Treatment of Shin Splints

Treatment of Shin What?

You hate running. But you’d love to become an officer in the Marines. So you start training for the PFT and when you go from zero to ten miles of running per week, the front of your shins start barking!

Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries, and affect a large amount of candidates and would-be candidates every year. They’re like a tradition.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, aka “Shin Splints”

When the muscle tissue in the front of your leg and the posterior peroneal tendon get fatigued and swollen, you feel the pain known more simply as the splints. Pain usually is centered around the front, outer side of your tibia or shin bone. If you are a hard-charging motivator, you are especially prone to this injury since it is due to overuse or a too-much, too-soon increase in training.

Any Good News?

Since the bad news is that you gave yourself shin splints by training hard, like you wanted, it’s time for the good news. This common injury can be avoided easily by slowly ramping up running workouts, and also can usually be cured after the fact in a week’s time with one simple exercise.

Treatment of Shin Splints

  1. Stand on the edge of a stair or step.
  2. Point your toes out from the step and leave only your heel standing on the edge.
  3. Locking your knees (hold the wall for a little balance), point your foot and toes as far down as you can and smoothly bring them upward as far as you can.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Do one set with locked out knees for 30 seconds of constant full-range motion.
  6. Do your second set with knees bent 45-degrees for 30 more seconds with constant full-range motion.
  7. Rest one minute
  8. Repeat the two sets.
  9. Do the workout three times a day, for a total of 6 30-second sets

Stick to it, and it will work for you. It’s worked for many candidates and Marines before, and is a common workout prescribed by our Athletic trainers in the Marine Corps and by doctors in the civilian world.

Have You Conquered Shin Splints?

If you’ve had shin splints, we’d love to hear what worked for you so please share with other candidates below:

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7 Responses to “Treatment of Shin Splints”

  1. outdoor gym equipment January 11, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    Im currently suffering from shin splints after pushing to hard on my latest runs. Its good to see that there is a relatively easy cure for these as they aren’t nice at all. Ill get back to you once iv started the recovery process and tell you how i have got on!

  2. Candidate May 1, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    I have found that foam rolling and massage to be the best treatment for shin splints.

  3. Erinn September 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Back in May, I got terrible shinsplints and ended up on crutches for a few weeks. (Too much running with no experience.) I was in physical therapy for about 6 weeks and they had me do a lot of glute and ab strengthening. I slowly increased my mileage, from jogging a mile about 2-3 times a week to running outside up to 3 miles without pain. Now I’m just doing a lot of leg and core strengthening on my own (weighted squats, lunges, planks etc) and gradually increasing my mileage every week. (The 10% rule is good!) For me, I had never been a runner so my legs weren’t conditioned or strengthened in the right places. Start slow and increase gradually and you will get better without hurting yourself :)

  4. Marly October 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    If you can find a solid surface that has an incline on it, that helps tremendously. Making sure your calves are flexible and warmed up really helps to cut down on the stress of shin splints. I’ve seen a lot of incline board type things in the gym, maybe ask the front desk for one if you can’t find it.

  5. Aaron April 22, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    I’ve been a runner off and on since I graduated high school back in 2005. I ran track for six years (events ranged from 400m-1600m) so my body is pretty used to running. However, even I run into shin splints when I ramp up my training too fast. So my advice is as follows.

    Make sure you are stretching your calfs before and after. Rolling out your calfs with a foam roller is also good as you can pinpoint the specific areas that are tight. Also, sit on your heels in a kneeling position (like you are stretching your quads) with your toes pointing out and lift your knees slightly off the ground. You should feel a stretch just above your ankle. People say ice shin splints, but in my opinion it just relieves the pain a bit and does little to nothing for recovery.

    Rest! Take a few days to a week off running. This sounds like a bad idea, but unless you’re shipping in a month (you should be running a good 3-5 mile by then anyway) rest is best for shin splints, and in my experience it helps improve run times in general. There have been several times when I’ve had to take days off running for various reasons only to get back at it running faster times.

    If you’re wary of not running at all try rowing or biking as a substitute. This method of “active rest” works for some people.

    Hopefully this helps someone.

    Selected for OCC 219, Ship date 1 June 2015

    • Marine OCS Blog April 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

      That’s great advice, Aaron! Would you want us to share it on the facebook page or would you want to do a guest post?

      • Aaron April 22, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

        Feel free to share it

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