Tips to Help Prevent and Heal Shin Splints

Just got this question from an SGPT athlete. “Coach; I have been having problems with shin splints and have tried a few things. What can you recommend.

First off lets look at what the differences are between a shin splint vs stress fracture:
A shin splint or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is an inflammation of the tissue running along the shin bone (tibia), whereas a stress fracture is a very small crack or group of cracks that form in the bone itself. With a shin splint, if you run your fingers over the shin, it’ll usually hurt all along the bone.

TIP #1
Stop running
Take a break. This can be a simple case of you have ran too much for too long without proper recovery. Make sure to get eight hours of sleep each night. Drink plenty of water and less beer. Rest and recover your body.

TIP #2
Are your running shoes new? Or old and worn out? If worn out then chuck them.

Video: Navy SEAL BUDS trainer talks about stress fractures in training

At Navy SEAL training BUDS – they have some of the highest stress fracture rates among athletes in the world.

TIP #3
Stretch your IT band and calf muscle.
Many athletes suffer from muscles (IT band) that are too tight and not enough time spent trying to stretch and lengthen them. The IT band is a multipurpose tendon that runs down the length of the outer thigh, from the top of the pelvis (ilium) to the shin bone (tibia).
I use a lacrosse ball on my calf and a stiffer foam roller. I like a regular foam roller for the hamstring and quads. Do stretches like the pigeon pose.

TIP #4
Ice on your shins and IT band.
Ice for 20-30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days, or until the pain is gone.

TIP #5 EMS unit.
Electro magnetic stimulus used in the active recovery mode for 30 minutes. Put the pads on your shins and ITB band. I personally use a Compex unit that I bought a few years back. The prices have come down on those units and now you can pick up a cheap one for about $99.

TIP #6
Rest. Get 8 hours minimum of good sleep each night. Drink plenty of water to flush out your system.
When you do return to running take another break after a few weeks.


Brad McLeod is married with two kids and an all around average family guy. His SGPT motivational audios have been downloaded in 27 countries around the world. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and despite training all the wrong ways – made it to Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California.

He flunked out of Navy SEAL BUD/S training after making it over half way through (6 months of grueling training). After a year in the Fleet Navy on the USS Cleveland (LPD-7) he came back to graduate BUDS and serve on SEAL Team Four.

His story is simple–Don’t Ever Quit on your Dream! Put one foot in front of the other and fall forward.

Proceeds from this website go to help raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation on CrowdRise.

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