Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Run? The Top 3 Causes of Shin Splints

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: Dr. Benjamin Wallace

If you've ever experienced pain in your shins when you run, you're not alone. Shin splints are a common running injury and can be caused by a variety of factors.

In this blog post, we will discuss the top 3 causes of shin splints and how to prevent them from happening so you can stay safe and pain-free on your next run!

Why do my shin splints hurt when I run - Content

Causes of Shin Splints

Shin splints are caused by stress to the shin bone (tibia) and connective tissue that attaches muscle to it. The most common cause of shin splints is overuse, which can be from doing too much running or jumping.

Other causes of shin splints can include:

  1. Overpronation (foot rolls inward) or over supination (foot rolls outward) when running. These conditions can cause the foot to absorb too much shock when it hits the ground. To best avoid such injury it always recommended to use shin splints shoe inserts.
  2. Shoes that don't fit properly or are worn out, can result in improper support and shock absorption.
  3. Hard or uneven surfaces, such as concrete sidewalks or roads with potholes (running on dirt trails is less likely to cause shin splints). Poor running form can overload the shin muscles and tissues.

If you're experiencing shin splints, investigate the cause and make changes as necessary. You may need to reduce your activity level or modify your training schedule, wear new shoes or orthotics, or change how you run.

How to Prevent Shin Splints

Preventing shin splints is fairly straightforward:

  1. Be sure to warm up before running and cool down afterward. This will get your blood flowing to the muscles you are working on and help them stretch out after a run.
  2. It is also important to stretch throughout the day, even if you are not training for a marathon or half marathon. You should also take care when running to make sure that your shoes are not worn out or too tight.
  3. Wear socks that fit properly and do not have holes in them. Also, try to avoid running on hard surfaces, like concrete, as much as possible. If you must run on a hard surface, be sure to use a shock-absorbing shoe that is designed for this type of terrain.
  4. If you still have shin splints, rest for at least a week before trying again. This will give your shins time to heal. Ice the area after running to help reduce swelling.
  5. If you are still having shin pain after trying these tips, it might be time to see a doctor. A physician can make sure that there are no serious conditions causing your shin splints and give you advice on how to manage them.

How to Treat Shin Splints

  1. 1. One of the first things you should do is ice your shins. Ice the affected area for 30 minutes, three times a day to help ease the pain and swelling. When you ice your shins, remember to use shin ice pack that provide ease to your pain.
  2. 2. Another way to help ease the pain is by taking over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But be advised that these medications will only help manage the pain, not cure it.
  3. 3. You should also avoid running until the pain subsides. When you are ready to start running again, make sure to slowly increase your mileage to prevent the pain from returning.

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Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Dr. Benjamin Wallace is a podiatry specialist with over two decades of experience in treating issues of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Record of successful treatments, from managing arthritic conditions and healing diabetic foot disorders to addressing foot deformities and sports-related injuries.