Shin Splints: I had a very useful conversation... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Shin Splints


I had a very useful conversation with my chiropractor just recently. I was suffering with shin splints, but just in my right shin area. He asked first if I'd upped my mileage significantly, which I hadn't as for me it started as I graduated the C25K program and I've pretty much stuck to just 30min runs since, then he asked me about my route, which for me was most telling. I always ran the same route, I mean ALWAYS - yes, I know boring git! Anyway, point being I even run the same pavement on the left side of the road, so he put it to me that given most pavements have a slight slope toward the road and even if not we're often up and down driveways to the road, that the right leg is always going to be under a little more stress that the other - seems logical! So, the remedy, simple, mix it up, run the other way round, run on grass now and again, etc, etc. Anyway, can't hurt to try. So I stopped running for two weeks first, as so much of the advice out there suggests, and started back running last Saturday (straight back to 30mins with no problem) ran my route the other way round, and no shin splints - so, so far, so good. Anyway hope this might help someone else out there.

9 Replies

Sounds logical. I also always run the same route on the same side of the path or road. So I'll keep your advice in mind and reverse the route every now and then. Thank you.


Hmmm, that's really interesting. I run a few different routes but always try and do the last 2k on a long slow downward hill so I can have a bit of a sprint (I use the term loosely!) at the end. And I ALWAYS run down the same side. Will try the other one tomorrow!

I'm another shin splint sufferer and have tried all the recommended treatments. I don't think i agree with this one though. I run a number of different courses and often improvise on the course when i am running so i don't have a best time to beat.

I think stretching exercises and cross training using different muscle groups help but after 9 months of suffering i still can't cure the problem. Lots of help on the net though.

That's fine, and I'm just putting this to the test now (second 30min run last night) since the two week rest - so far so good but it's early days.


Running across an incline always hurts my knees. Just good to know the problem is not totally in my mind.

The only thing that stopped my shin splints was getting gait analysis and trainers with slight support, I'd always had 'high street' ie no support shoe. Never had and problem since. I think your advice sensible though for reducing stresses on your knees etc. hope you are enjoying your new route :)

Hi totalbeginner, yes good gait analysis is important. Fortunately I'm glad to report I've been shin splint free since and I'm just staying mindful of varying my route and trying to run on different surfaces to keep it that way, Cheers.


Great post and a great reminder to us of the various benefits of mixing up the routes. Even reversing it must help... sounds so logical doesn't it? Running on an angle will stress one leg more than the other... yet it's just not something we'd necessarily think about... thanks for the post!

You're welcome!

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