Why Do I Get Shin Splints From Running

Running is a great way to stay active and healthy. It can provide a sense of accomplishment and a rush of endorphins. However, for some of us, running can also come with its fair share of challenges. One common issue that many runners face is shin splints. Shin splints are a painful condition characterized by pain along the shinbone (tibia) and are often experienced during or after running.

As a passionate runner who has struggled with shin splints in the past, I understand the frustration and discouragement that this condition can bring. So, in this article, I will delve into the reasons why runners like us get shin splints and share some tips on how to prevent and treat them.

What Causes Shin Splints?

The exact cause of shin splints can vary from person to person, but there are a few common factors that contribute to this condition.

One of the main causes of shin splints is overuse or excessive stress on the shinbone and surrounding muscles. This usually happens when you suddenly increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of your running workouts. The repeated stress and impact on the muscles and bones can lead to inflammation and pain.

Another contributing factor is improper running technique or form. If your foot strikes the ground with too much force or if you have a tendency to overpronate (roll your foot inward) or supinate (roll your foot outward), it can put additional strain on your shins, leading to shin splints.

Wearing unsupportive or worn-out running shoes can also play a role in the development of shin splints. Shoes that lack proper cushioning and support can increase the impact on your shins, making them more prone to injury.

Prevention and Treatment

While shin splints can be frustrating, the good news is that there are several steps you can take to prevent and treat this condition.

First and foremost, it’s essential to listen to your body and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your running routine. Avoid sudden spikes in mileage or intensity, as this can put excessive stress on your shins. Instead, aim for a gradual progression that allows your body to adapt and strengthen over time.

Proper running form is also crucial in preventing shin splints. Make sure to land with a midfoot strike, avoiding excessive heel striking or forefoot striking. It may be helpful to consult with a running coach or physical therapist to assess and improve your running technique.

Investing in a good pair of running shoes is a must for all runners, especially if you’re prone to shin splints. Look for shoes that provide adequate cushioning, stability, and arch support. Replace your shoes regularly, typically every 300-500 miles, or when you notice signs of wear and tear.

If you do experience shin splints, it’s essential to address them promptly to prevent further complications. Rest and ice the affected area to reduce inflammation and pain. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises for the calf muscles can help improve flexibility and alleviate the strain on your shins.

In some cases, it may be necessary to seek professional help, such as a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist. They can provide specific exercises, manual therapy, or even recommend orthotics to support your feet and reduce the risk of shin splints.


While shin splints can be a frustrating setback for runners, they are not a permanent roadblock. By understanding the causes and implementing preventive strategies, you can minimize the risk of developing shin splints. Remember to prioritize gradual progression, proper running form, and supportive footwear. And if shin splints do occur, taking the necessary steps to rest, recover, and seek professional guidance will get you back on track to enjoying your runs pain-free.