Shin Splints - orthotics

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Artful, Mar 15, 2008.

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  1. Right, I have had shin splints fr months and months now.

    Had good times with them, thinking almost healed followed by bad times, first run back and they are straight back on etc. Seen two physio's given different advice by both of them and also seen a doctor, who was absolutely useless.

    Today I had an appointment with a Podiatrist, seemed to know what he was talking about etc and talked me through things, basically he has recomended I take orthotics, although I have got an hour long assesment with him next week with full gait analysis and foot scan etc.

    From his initial review he rekons that he could have me clear of shin splints in as quick as 14 days, after casting and making my orthotics. If you have had experience with custom orthotics, you will know they are stupidly expensive, like most things made out of carbon fibre really, but if they are ging to work, i will pay it.

    That is my question though, have yuo had shin splints and used custom orthotics? If you have what is your experience with them? I don't want to fork out to be very disapointed and out of pocket, but I don't want to walk away from a cure of a complete pain in the arse problem that is hindering my progress ten-fold.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I suffered from chronic shin splints a few years ago, resulting in the usual "malingering" comments from colleagues. However I was referred to a Physiotherapist who diagnosed that the problem lay not in my legs, but in my core muscles. She gave me an intensive stretching/balancing regime which developed that area; she also gave me a course of acupuncture which, despite my scepticism, seemed to work.

    Coupled with that, I also visited a specialist sports shop and purchased some decent Asics trainers which made a huge difference to my running style.
  3. I think anything is worth a try if they are that bad. These problems are normally said to start in the feet so it's worth finding out if that's true or if it's a muscular problem.
    Anyone who's had shin splints knows the pain and I've had them only midly and I can empathise. Do give it a go.
    PS. In agreement with SGTPB- go to a proper sports shop, they will check out your feet and get you some decent trainers. Don't just go and get some off the peg. They make them in all sorts of corrective types.
  4. I had the lovely time of experiencing shin-splints, a PTI adviced that I changed my trainers, I was wearing the lovely reebok classics (this was in basic), so I went out and brought proper running trainers, cleared them right up.
  5. If you are currently serving you should be able to get good physio advice from someone with experience with this problem- if not you will probably have to pay!

    for me personally I was similar to sgtpepperband in that regular stretching and some simple leg exercises have pretty much eliminated the problem. Also a pair of trainers recommended from a sports specialist after running on a gait analysis treadmill thingy machine (this wasn't expensive- £50 for the consultation and a pair of trainers with forces discount :thumright: ). I also purchased a pair of Lowa's for my green phys which i have found much better than standard issue boots.

    i have also been issued insoles that were custom made- but i only use them in my day to day footwear and to be honest have not made a great deal of difference.

    this has worked for me, but we are all different and what is causing your shin pain may well be completly different to mine.

    If you have trainers around six months old, try looking at the tread and see if they are wearing out differently. Mine were, and the leg that was giving me jip was wearing down the trainer quicker than the other! It might be a start to finding out whats wrong.

    Try looking around this site-
  6. I have no idea why I ever had shin splints. My white pussers pumps were always blanco-ed and I had razor sharp creases in my white cotton shorts. (You getting the hots for me, Rosie?)
  7. I suffered from 'shin-splints' (a generic term) for most of my early career until a switched on physio found a number of biomechanical problems with my legs and feet in a matter of minutes. I was referred to Jonathon Palmer in Exeter, was fitted with orthotics and touch wood - I've had no further problems. Some physios, maybe hoping to make a name for themselves, have tried to discredit them - but I say go for it. They worked for me, and saved me getting MD'd.
  8. I started suffering from "shin splint" type symptoms a few months ago. Went to the doctor who referred me to a physiotherapist.

    After a ten minute consultation and examination he traced the problem to my feet. Although I had been experiencing some discomfort in my feet I had no idea that was the source of the pain in my shins. He taught me some stretches and worked on lengthening the plantar fascia which had been giving me the problems.

    He suggested I see an orthopaedic specialist and I have had a set of orthotics made for my work shoes. That was around three weeks ago so it is still very early but they seem to be making a difference and I am about to return and get a thinner pair made for my running/football trainers.

    To effectively manage or cure this problem you will probably need a balanced programme of rest and care.

    1. Get professionally fitted with a pair of running trainers at a specialist shop.
    2. Ensure you carry out regular stretches on the foot and calves.
    3. When you resume training start off slowly and gradually build it up. If you attempt to start from where you left off you will probably aggravate the injury.
    4. Get a couple of sets of orthotics for you work shoes and running trainers.

    The orthotics can be expensive, get one set to start off with and see if they have any discernible benefits. The bespoke ones are obviously the best but for a cheaper alternative check out some off the shelf ones which can be moulded to your feet at home.

    One option is a company called Sole.

    Sole insoles UK

    Good luck, I know how frustrating it is when you are unable to train.
  9. Try "Sorbothane" fullstrike insoles, at one time you could get them from sickbay or if you are not in they are available from Blacks the camping shop or look it up on the net for other suppliers.

    Hope its some help.
  10. Cheers for the advice, I have been fitted with a pair of trainers, some asics, although the situation improved from running in my addidas running shoes, nothing greatly. I am currently not in the forces so i will be paying for all my treatment, i am hoping the orthotics help. I had all the comments and still do off the rugby lads and that, but i carry on with rugby training and matches, probably doesn't help the situation but ah well, bring on tuesday.

    Cheers all, any more comments welcomed.
  11. Look at the two documents Ive attached below mate - they will give you advice on prevention and strengthening exercises.

    I suffer from shin splints and am currently on a 1 month break from phys to recover. Ive purchased "off the shelf" orthotics for £35, but in some severe cases you will need custom made (which can be anything between £150 - £700!!)

    Try Sole heat mouldable insoles, as they also give excellent cushioning which is essential if your running in boots. My problem is that I have flat feet and I overpronate, so suffer from posterior shin splints.
    Basically Ive damaged the muscle that runs down the inside of the shin and under the arch of your foot. When I was yomping or running, the arch of my foot was collapsing and literally stretching and tearing at the muscle. Unfortunately I was stupid enough to run through it, until it became a serious issue.


    1. Massaging the area with ibuprofen gel (also take brufen orally)
    2. Ice (10 on - 10 off). I stand in a bucket of ice after a big run.
    3. Orthotics
    4. Stretch well before and after phys
    5. Strengthening exercises
    6. Running gait analysis and using the correct running shoes
    7. REST!!

    Good luck and PM me if you need any help
  12. Brilliant advice spenny. From being a recent sufferer of shin splint symptons myself, I found the warm up and strenghtening excercises very useful reading. :thumright:
  13. Artful, unless I've missed something, why are you paying for orthotics?

    I had a similar problem some months ago. Went to see my doctor and he reffered me to a specialist. Anyway the short story is, I needed orthotics so I was then sent to see a podiatrist who fitted me for the insoles.
    They seemed to work instantly and although they feel a bit strange at first, I now don't notice them at all and I've had no more injuries.

    My point being, if you can get reffered through your doctor, you should get them free of charge through the NHS.
  14. I used to get this from playing five-a-side on astroturf. I found that unadaquate footwear on a hard surface seemed to be the cause. Id say definately invest in some good running[or some designed specifically for the sport your taking part in] shoes.
  15. Welcome to my first post!

    I have suffered with sports related foot problems for the last 10 years or so. I am a Devonport rating and there is a Podiatrist working there - presume there is one available in other regions too. Get referred from the sickbay and have them investigate your problem. I wear GRP insoles that significantly alleviate the problem. Plus the Pusser pays for them - they normally cost around £150 a pair and only last a year. Your medical welfare is the responsibility of the RN. Don't suffer or pay for treatment yourself!

    PS I wear Timberland working 'DMS' boots too - all aranged through Naval Stores and my Podiatrist. Treatment is out there................
  16. Hello mate,

    Shin splints is one of three very similar conditions, the other two being compartment syndrome and periostitis.

    They are commonly misdiagnosed and most doctors I have seen for my periostitis were useless too.

    Compartment syndrome is useually only treatable through surgery.

    The good news is that for the other two conditions thorough treatment of the calves. Orthotics are expensive and do not necessarily solve the problem. If you are paying for them I would hold off.

    You should try SMR stretching for the calves and deep tissue massage. Find a good sports massage therapist.

    They will show you how to treat it yourself.

    If you get in contact I will send you the info you need to help with this.

    I have had this condition for years but now feel no problems through self treatment.
  17. I too found myself in the same situation as Artful a couple of years ago. I was given orthotics (not custom made, but they weren't cheap!) and the problem went away completely.

    I managed to get hold of a few pairs and have since worn them in all my shoes and trainers.

    Does anyone know if I were to apply for the Royal Marines that this would present a problem? Is it best I don't mention it and just put them in my boots and trainers? (they slide under normal insoles).

    I have read about people being issued with them during training, but not if you need them at the beginning.

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