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Is this really the miracle cure for shin splints?

By on Sep 21, 2013
Image of runner recovered from shin splints

If someone offered you one exercise that could cure your shin splints injury, would you take it? Or would you turn away, convinced that there really is no ready-made quick cure solution to any injury? Read on and make up your own mind.

More information about the shin splints recovery articles

Today we examine two articles that are both geared at recovery from shin splints. But that is the only thing they have in common.

Our first article is courtesy of Gizmodo. Backed by the author’s own experience with the injury, it claims that there’s a quick and easy solution for healing shin splint problems.

There’s not a huge amount to the Gizmodo routine (check out the article for the full description):

  1. Find some stairs and perform a series of toe raises.
  2. Perform six 30-second sets each day.
  3. Expect recovery within a week!

The article provides the usual disclaimer about every runner being different and so on. But it’s rather half-hearted. And the message to those suffering from shin pain is pretty clear.

…I’m going to give you one exercise routine that you’re going to do once a day, and the shin splints will be gone within the week…

A more conventional approach to treating shin splints

Our second article today lies at the opposite end of the spectrum.

As you might expect from our friends at Runner’s World, there are no promises of a quick and easy return to health. But the article does provide a few clear steps that can support a return to pain-free running in as short a timeframe as possible.

Here’s a small sample of the Runner’s World action plan.

    1. Gentle stretching is recommended. But a one-size fits all approach isn’t the order of the day. For example, if you’re suffering from medial shin splints, then stretching of your Achilles is required. If anterior shin splints is the problem, then stretch your calves.
    2. For those who do carry on running, taping and strapping are necessary. This should be maintained until the pain has disappeared.
    3. Footwear is key. Your shoes need to suit your foot type. You should also own two pairs of shoes and alternate them for greater variability in the stresses you put your legs under. Some runners may also require orthotics.

The article also contains some interesting nuggets about the injury itself. To take one example, did you know this point: “If you’re right-handed, you’re usually right-footed as well, and that’s the leg that’s going to hurt”.

You’ll find the full article here.

…The nature of shin splints…most often can be captured in four words: too much, too soon…

Overall, the difference in the approach of the two articles is striking. And it’s underscored by how long they suggest recovery will take.

Gizmodo suggest recovery within a week is feasible. Runner’s World note that a recovery period of 3 to 6 weeks is more realistic.

So what do you think? Check out the articles and let us know your experience in the comments below.


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