Questions & Answers

New to Forum - Dealing with Shin Splints?

Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) occurs during physical activity and results from too much force on the shinbone and connective tissues attaching muscles to it. I've also had several surgical procedures on my Achilles tendon and have totally flat feet - so I have lots going on to deal with.

Progress So Far<br/> I'm currently in week two of the nine-week couch to 5K program and had the second of my week-two runs this morning. I don't know whether it was because this run was my first early morning run, until now I've only run in the evenings, but about half way through my 3.2-mile run I hit a wall with the shin splint pain in my left leg. I couldn't continue the short run sprints and had to finish the distance walking. I was really disappointed.

I've read all sorts of articles about how to deal with the problem of shin splints, but have not found anything that has worked for me. I recently went to a Run for Your Life store and got properly fitted for good running shoes. I made a point of telling the person helping me that I have flat feet, very flat feet. I ended up with a very comfortable pair of moderately cushioned Ascis running shoes (shown above). But even after getting fitted and using my new "better" shoes for two weeks, the shin splints are not subsiding as fast as I had hoped. Which leads me to how you can help.

What do you recommend that I try to in order to deal with my shin splints problem? At this point I'm willing to think a little more radically and I'm even considering transitioning to a barefoot/minimal running shoe to see if that helps. Damien suggested I try a minimal shoe but I'm not entirely convinced, yet. I also just spent $$ on a new pair of running shoes.

Any help or advice appreciated :-)


Answers and Replies


Great post. I have to admit that I am unlucky enough to have both anterior shin splints AND plantar fasciitis - I'm also flat-footed with gait issues :-)

I do a lot of martial arts and my feet take quite a pounding even though I always do my best to avoid injuries. I get bad bouts of plantar fasciitis pain when I am doing karate moves that require me to have a long stance, I assume the pain is from the somewhat unnatural position.

In your post you suggest finding muscle hotspots and rubbing them out instead of stretching. How do I go about that? My painis in the tightness of the muscle on the front of my shin and sometimes in the sole of my foot - I don't tend to notice pain anywhere else specifically.

Several people have suggested I look at minimalistic footwear and consider a transition to a more natural running method - is that necessary or another option?

The shoes I am running in right now are the Asics Gel Nimbus which by all accounts are a good shoe, but maybe they aren't helping with my particular ailments?


Ok, the video gives some great ways for me to look for those trigger points. I definitely have pain in the front of my shin and the muscles feel like steel. I'll work on looking for the trigger points and check out some minimal footwear to see if that will help.

Great video and information. Thanks for sharing!



i'm a doc who runs and like the Sock Doc...see a ton of runners. the term shin splints in non-specific to the injury and in many cases it is a stress fracture in the making (or already there).

the key is reducing loading rate and impact transient...explained here by my friend Jay Dicharry the references on this blog are key to understanding.

so it is not about the shoe but about how you land. barefoot running teaches the soft landing...then you can put the shoes on.


Mark Cucuzzella MD

we have all these papers in our library at



Thanks for you comments. My last two runs have been with my same (padded) running shoes but I made a conscious effort to run with a midsole strike running style instead of a heal strike. It was a little tricky adjusting with padded shoes, but possible to a certain degree.

The difference in shin splint pain was almost immediate. By making a simple adjustment to my landing technique I had almost entirely eradicated the pain I had been experiencing before.

Since my last run I have bought a pair of Merrell True Glove barefoot shoes and will be giving them a test drive later this afternoon. I'm very excited about being able to run with less pain or no pain in the near future. I haven't been this excited to get out running in many years and I'm somewhat blown away by how the mechanics of changing my landing technique has impacted my pain so quickly. I wish I had made the move a very long time ago.

Thank you all so much!


Hi Brian

Been there done that! I had mega shin splints when I first started running and more rescently have suffred through PF. I can only endorse the learned comments by the previous posters. One of my running mentors has over 100 standard Marathons behind him including a 2:20 NY marathon many years ago. He is of the view that as road runners we should use barefoot sessions in much the same way we do other quality sessions,. Get your form right now and you will definitely avoid a lot of problems later. Even if you choose to do a lot of your road work in your Asics atleast do a barefoot session once a week for maintenance. One big down side of 'normal ' running shoes that none of the retailers mention is that they have a short life! All that cushioning blows out pretty quickly. Good luck and remermber we were all beginners at one time

Post an Answer or Reply