Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
Don’t Let Shin Splints Slow You Down
July 11, 2006

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I’ve started jogging to burn more calories in my quest to lose weight; sometimes I jog outside or on a treadmill. Lately I have been experiencing pain in my lower leg around my shins. What is this and how do I prevent it? (Ellen, East Meadow)

The pain you are experiencing is commonly known as “shin splints.” It is caused by chronic strain, overuse and microtrauma of the anterior tibialis muscle on the shin bone. Shin splints are common and treatable, so it won’t slow you down for long.

Some of the causes:

  • Running on hard unresilient surfaces
  • Worn or improper foot gear (those comfortable sneakers that are “broken in”)
  • Improper running style—heel contact must be made
  • Running on the inside of the foot—excessive pronation
Treating shin splints:
  • Ice immediately after activity
  • Take aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and relieve pain
  • Reduce mileage and intensity for a week and never run through pain
  • Avoid hills and hard running surfaces
  • After running do gentle stretching of the posterior leg calves and quad muscles

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on