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Holy Hell! Shin splints?

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Sorry to hear this! My companion a couple of years ago recovered completely with about 3 days of rest. Gentle stretching is probable good. Maybe anti-inflammatories too although my companion couldn't take them. I have had minor shinsplints that recovered with a bit less walking than usual.

So hopefully a bit of rest will do the trick!
 

Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to SdC 2016 St Jean to LosArcos 2018 Leon to SdC 2019 Le Puy to Conques
Your shins might be taking the stress if other leg parts are too tight. For ankles ... Try circles with your toe on ground and spin 10x each direction. With both feet on ground, lift toes, then heels 10x each, then lift outside of feet, then arches of feet 10x each. This can help. Other areas like calves, quads, and hamstrings might need some loosening as well. Good Luck ...
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
A couple of months ago someone else had complained about shin splits and one of the suggestions was to change shoes. I was starting to have pain in my shins so I tried buying a pair of shoes 1/2 size smaller. I had forgotten that I had bought my shoes a little larger this year. The new shoes cured it immediately.

Lots of suggestions for you today. We all hope you get well fast and have a buen camino!
 

Suzanne S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
Oh my! Yes, your Camino has begun. As @CdnDreamer said, you've got lots of suggestions, and I know you've got plenty of experience! My thoughts are with you as you take the next steps...

Buen Camino!
 

Christian vaegter

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016, Astorga to Fisterra
Sept 2018, SJPDP to Fisterra
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.

Bugger :-/. Rest, rest, rest until departure. And ice, ibuprofen and more rest. A slow pace, not too long days and many pauses. If you take it easy it will significanly increase your chance of recovery. There is no miracle fix!! Take it easy and you’ll be fine.
I hope you’ll recover before your departure or during the first days. Buen camino!
Best, chris
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
We had the same problem. Just days before leaving !

My physio showed me an exercise using a roller. We carry it with us and use every day. So far no problems. We are on day 14.

Boot gives an idea of size. It weighs less than 200 gms.


20180510_215001.jpg



 
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fordy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles
This might help a little, when I played rugby I found that a could relief the affects of shin slits by taping my shins above and below where the pain was. I have no scientific explanation why this would work but it could be worth a go
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
We had the same problem. Just days before leaving !

My physio showed me an exercise using a roller. We carry it with us and use every day. So far no problems. We are on day 14.
I acually have been using the roller - hadn't thought about taking one with me though - no place to keep it. Where'd you find that one?

UPDATE: I just found one on Amazon and can get it delivered before I leave.
It's only 5" x 12" so I can fit it in my pack. Thanks so much!

Also, fordy, I just bought some tape - I'll try taping them as well.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
First: 1977 (by train)... Next One of Many by Foot: As Soon As I Can Put the Pieces Together!
I acually have been using the roller - hadn't thought about taking one with me though - no place to keep it. Where'd you find that one?

Also, fordy, I just bought some tape - I'll try taping them as well.
Good luck, my friend! I have fond memories of our walk together in 2012.....

I shove off on the Aragones, from Lourdes, on 21 May -- and have just been diagnosed with painful "tennis elbow"! All I can do is bring a sling with me, sigh!

Don't get old.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
I acually have been using the roller - hadn't thought about taking one with me though - no place to keep it. Where'd you find that one?

Also, fordy, I just bought some tape - I'll try taping them as well.
Awful timing for you. Decathlon have foam rollers in soft and hard. Website has a demo video. When I was a keen jogger stretching the calves pre and post run seemed to prevent shin splints reoccurring. Hoping for a speedy recovery.
 

jenwearing

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 23 (2018) camino Frances from SJPP - first time
I acually have been using the roller - hadn't thought about taking one with me though - no place to keep it. Where'd you find that one?

UPDATE: I just found one on Amazon and can get it delivered before I leave.
It's only 5" x 12" so I can fit it in my pack. Thanks so much!

Also, fordy, I just bought some tape - I'll try taping them as well.

I roll my shins on a tennis ball (and the rest of my calves) at the first sign of tightness and that lets me wake up with fresh feeling legs. It takes some creative positioning but can dig a little deeper than the larger cylinder, which I also roll on in addition. good luck!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
How To Minimize the Risk of Shin Splints

I put this together to provide help to those who wish to minimize the risk of the unpleasantness of shin splints while on Camino.

Warm Up -- ALWAYS warm up prior to exercise and stretch well after exercise.

Walk at a slower pace at the beginning of each walk.
  • Then perform ankle circles: rotate ankle ten times in one direction, then ten times in opposite direction.
  • Next, do some toe points: point toes, then flex foot - ten times on each foot to get your muscles loosened up.
  • Do the ankle circles and toes points several times each day or write the alphabet in the air with your toes.
After Walking
Stretch your calves, shins, and Achilles tendon after every walk. Tight muscles make the shin work harder to lift your foot.

When Walking
Choose a good walking surface. Avoid concrete if possible. If you walk on a road with an obvious camber, try walking out and back on the same side of the road to avoid putting too much stress on one leg.

  1. Increase your mileage and speed gradually. The general rule of thumb is to increase mileage at a rate of 10% each week.
  2. Be sure that you are not over striding.
    • Over striding occurs when you take longer steps to increase speed without running. Lengthen the stride in back, rather than in front, to improve power and efficiency in your stride. An overstriding walker has their front foot too far out in front of body. You want instead for your forward foot to contact the ground closer to your body.
    • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body. This is because your forward leg has no power, while your back leg is what is pushing you forward.
  3. Be Aware of Your Step Rate
    • Increasing your cadence or step rate will significantly reduce impact forces. Focus on striking beneath your center of mass and avoid stepping out in front of your body—this will also prevent over striding and braking—to lessen the load placed on the tibia.
Perform Exercises to Strengthen Calves and Shins
Studies demonstrate that bigger and stronger calf muscles have a lower risk of developing tibial stress fractures. Since tibial stress fractures can be the result of shin splints that haven’t been addressed, it makes sense that strengthening your calves may also help walkers avoid medial tibial stress syndrome.

Consider the following strength exercises to help strengthen those calves and the surrounding muscles to help prevent shin splints:

Calf Raises
Standing with your feet slightly apart, raise up onto your toes, pause for 2 seconds, and lower back down. Complete two sets of 15 repetitions.

Toe Walks
Standing on your tiptoes, walk forward 15 yards. Complete two sets of 15 yards.

Foot Pumps
Lie down with your legs straight out in front of your body and your toes pointed toward the sky. In a pumping motion, point your toes back towards your body and then back to the original position. Complete two sets of 20 repetitions.

Heel Drop
Standing on a stair or elevated platform, put your weight on your right foot while lowering your right heel past 90 degrees. Slowly raise back up and repeat before switching sides. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

If you have shin pain, you may need to take a day or two of rest and start back more slowly.

Remember: RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ibuprofen is often recommended. There are health risks with this product. So, don't use without doing your own research.

BE AWARE -- There are a couple of related lower leg injuries which some folks may think are shin splints, but require medical intervention:

Compartment Syndrome
Pain on the lower anterior may be compartment syndrome, a swelling of the muscles within the compartment. Increased pressure compromises the area's circulation and function of the tissues in that space. Symptoms include pain, unusual nerve sensations, and muscle weakness. This condition requires a physician's diagnosis and surgical decompression may be necessary.

Stress Fracture
Another cause of pain in the lower leg is a stress fracture. If you have a definite spot of sharp pain when you run your hand along your shin the pain may be a stress fracture. A horizontal rather than vertical line of pain is another indicator and stress fractures normally feel better in the morning after a night of rest. A bone scan is necessary for diagnosis.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
I acually have been using the roller - hadn't thought about taking one with me though - no place to keep it. Where'd you find that one?

UPDATE: I just found one on Amazon and can get it delivered before I leave.
It's only 5" x 12" so I can fit it in my pack. Thanks so much!

Also, fordy, I just bought some tape - I'll try taping them as well.
Make sure it's a bright fluorescent color, and tie it to the outside of your pack. Doing so won't help with the shin splint issues, but other forum members will be able to readily spot you :)
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
Are you trying to keep up with someone with ' Giraffe's legs ' Annie :)
The only time I've ever had shin splint trouble is when doing exactly that . My bush walking mates are all over six foot six , I learnt very early on that trying to match their stride is a recipe for disaster .
 
Last edited:

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My son had shin splints for at least a week on Camino and he did not want to take time off to rest. He used a typical Ace bandage wrapped around his foot and lower leg each day and borrowed my hiking poles. Although he was still in some discomfort, the pain was relieved enough to continue walking each day. I hear lueketape is another good wrapping option.
Wishing you a pain free Camino, Annie!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
My son had shin splints for at least a week on Camino and he did not want to take time off to rest. He used a typical Ace bandage wrapped around his foot and lower leg each day and borrowed my hiking poles. Although he was still in some discomfort, the pain was relieved enough to continue walking each day. I hear lueketape is another good wrapping option.
Wishing you a pain free Camino, Annie!
For prevention, or for mild cases, sometimes taping can help; especially if the person slows up the pace, takes frequent breaks, ices, stretches, and rests at the end of the walking day.

Kinesiology tape has been reported to help:
http://www.shinsplintsclinic.com/taping-shin-splints/

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=kinesiology+tapes&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=190494769608&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7351983837161403620&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033620&hvtargid=kwd-297908766701&ref=pd_sl_2fpj86rhb9_e

I have seen KT tape in some farmacias in Spain. It is easily available online and at some sporting and athletic stores. I highly suggest that if one decides to use it, to shave away any body hair to the area of application; then alcohol the crap out of the area to remove any residual dirt and body oils; and to apply tincture of benzoin to the area of the skin that the tape will be applied to. This will tremendously increase its holding power. It is also important to rub the tape vigorously once applied to help activate the adhesive.

KT tape can be left on several days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
For prevention, or for mild cases, sometimes taping can help; especially if the person slows up the pace, takes frequent breaks, ices, stretches, and rests at the end of the walking day.

Kinesiology tape has been reported to help:
http://www.shinsplintsclinic.com/taping-shin-splints/

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=kinesiology+tapes&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=190494769608&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7351983837161403620&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033620&hvtargid=kwd-297908766701&ref=pd_sl_2fpj86rhb9_e

I have seen KT tape in some farmacias in Spain. It is easily available online and at some sporting and athletic stores. I highly suggest that if one decides to use it, to shave away any body hair to the area of application; then alcohol the crap out of the area to remove any residual dirt and body oils; and to apply tincture of benzoin to the area of the skin that the tape will be applied to. This will tremendously increase its holding power. It is also important to rub the tape vigorously once applied to help activate the adhesive.

KT tape can be left on several days.
Yup. Bought KT tape to take. Didn’t think I’d have to use it but happy I have it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Good luck, my friend! I have fond memories of our walk together in 2012.....

I shove off on the Aragones, from Lourdes, on 21 May -- and have just been diagnosed with painful "tennis elbow"! All I can do is bring a sling with me, sigh!

Don't get old.
So sorry about your elbow!
Getting old ain’t for sissies, is it!? Lol.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I'm sorry to hear this, Annie - may it heal quickly and completely!
Buen Camino!
 

ShaLaw

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
Sorry if this is a repeat of something someone already said, as I haven't had time to read this entire thread. There's still a week before you go, so have you thought about getting in a couple of physiotherapist sessions before you take off?? They are only a half hour, so even if you could get two in before you leave, they can give you some really great exercises to do.

I hope you feel better soon. Buen Camino!
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
I had this problem on my Camino last month. Ended up having to seek help at hospital in León. The diagnosis was tendinitis. Treatment was 3 days rest and a prescription for anti-inflammatory medication. Did all that and didn't look back!!!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I acually have been using the roller - hadn't thought about taking one with me though - no place to keep it. Where'd you find that one?

UPDATE: I just found one on Amazon and can get it delivered before I leave.
It's only 5" x 12" so I can fit it in my pack. Thanks so much!

Also, fordy, I just bought some tape - I'll try taping them as well.
Attach it to the bottom of your rucksack where the sleeping pad would normally go. As an alternative, lash it tot he top of your rucksack.
 

carryoncouple

We love trekking
Camino(s) past & future
Spring (2013)
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
I had them at the end of my Camino and the only thing that worked was rest and to put as little weight on my legs as possible. Trekking poles might help.
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
All great advice. Just one other factor is lack of water and electrolytes. When the body is short of water then areas are robbed to keep vital organs functioning. Easy targets are joints and the fascia which surrounds the muscles. The fascia becomes brittle hence pain in the shins. If it persists tendons can lose their elasticity and not stretch enough so the load goes onto the bones. I think this is a contributing element in shin splints that are minute fractures.
Whole chapter with medical references in the book on preparing for a Camino “Backpacks, Boots & Blisters” from Amazon. Written by pilgrims for other pilgrims particularly those who are contempt their first one.
Happymark
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
How To Minimize the Risk of Shin Splints

I put this together to provide help to those who wish to minimize the risk of the unpleasantness of shin splints while on Camino.

Warm Up -- ALWAYS warm up prior to exercise and stretch well after exercise.

Walk at a slower pace at the beginning of each walk.
  • Then perform ankle circles: rotate ankle ten times in one direction, then ten times in opposite direction.
  • Next, do some toe points: point toes, then flex foot - ten times on each foot to get your muscles loosened up.
  • Do the ankle circles and toes points several times each day or write the alphabet in the air with your toes.
After Walking
Stretch your calves, shins, and Achilles tendon after every walk. Tight muscles make the shin work harder to lift your foot.

When Walking
Choose a good walking surface. Avoid concrete if possible. If you walk on a road with an obvious camber, try walking out and back on the same side of the road to avoid putting too much stress on one leg.

  1. Increase your mileage and speed gradually. The general rule of thumb is to increase mileage at a rate of 10% each week.
  2. Be sure that you are not over striding.
    • Over striding occurs when you take longer steps to increase speed without running. Lengthen the stride in back, rather than in front, to improve power and efficiency in your stride. An overstriding walker has their front foot too far out in front of body. You want instead for your forward foot to contact the ground closer to your body.
    • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body. This is because your forward leg has no power, while your back leg is what is pushing you forward.
  3. Be Aware of Your Step Rate
    • Increasing your cadence or step rate will significantly reduce impact forces. Focus on striking beneath your center of mass and avoid stepping out in front of your body—this will also prevent over striding and braking—to lessen the load placed on the tibia.
Perform Exercises to Strengthen Calves and Shins
Studies demonstrate that bigger and stronger calf muscles have a lower risk of developing tibial stress fractures. Since tibial stress fractures can be the result of shin splints that haven’t been addressed, it makes sense that strengthening your calves may also help walkers avoid medial tibial stress syndrome.

Consider the following strength exercises to help strengthen those calves and the surrounding muscles to help prevent shin splints:

Calf Raises
Standing with your feet slightly apart, raise up onto your toes, pause for 2 seconds, and lower back down. Complete two sets of 15 repetitions.

Toe Walks
Standing on your tiptoes, walk forward 15 yards. Complete two sets of 15 yards.

Foot Pumps
Lie down with your legs straight out in front of your body and your toes pointed toward the sky. In a pumping motion, point your toes back towards your body and then back to the original position. Complete two sets of 20 repetitions.

Heel Drop
Standing on a stair or elevated platform, put your weight on your right foot while lowering your right heel past 90 degrees. Slowly raise back up and repeat before switching sides. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

If you have shin pain, you may need to take a day or two of rest and start back more slowly.

Remember: RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ibuprofen is often recommended. There are health risks with this product. So, don't use without doing your own research.

BE AWARE -- There are a couple of related lower leg injuries which some folks may think are shin splints, but require medical intervention:

Compartment Syndrome
Pain on the lower anterior may be compartment syndrome, a swelling of the muscles within the compartment. Increased pressure compromises the area's circulation and function of the tissues in that space. Symptoms include pain, unusual nerve sensations, and muscle weakness. This condition requires a physician's diagnosis and surgical decompression may be necessary.

Stress Fracture
Another cause of pain in the lower leg is a stress fracture. If you have a definite spot of sharp pain when you run your hand along your shin the pain may be a stress fracture. A horizontal rather than vertical line of pain is another indicator and stress fractures normally feel better in the morning after a night of rest. A bone scan is necessary for diagnosis.
  • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body. This is because your forward leg has no power, while your back leg is what is pushing you forward.
You are just so good to give such detailed information, thank you! I look at EVERYBODY passing me out. I look again and in seconds they are miles along the road. I will have to try this mental visualising and then try to do it when I walk. I am such a slow coach!
 

Robert Long

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2016
Camino Portuguse Oct 2018
Good Morning

Unfortunately I had experience with shin splints two years ago. It happened on day 37. It was caused I think by a change in activity level. My son met me on the Camino and I began walking faster.

Anyway. I went on line and found many good sites on shin splint pain and how to apply KT tape. There is more than one type of shin splint so you need to tape for the specific pain you have. See below for anterior pain, that is what I had. The first pharmacy I walked into had KT tape and helped me select the color (stretch). I followed the instructions I found on line and it WORKED. Pain free into Santiago with a colorful leg. Four days later I removed it and I was fine. Don't leave it on longer than recommended - I think 4 days.

Two things one, you need to shave your leg -- be careful and two, be VERY careful removing the tape. It will remove skin. I sat in a tub and soaked the leg/tape in hot water for 20 minutes and peeled it off VERY SLOWLY. Baby oil will also work.

Good luck, but i found KT tape to work wonders, especially since rest, etc was not going to happen.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+kt+tape+for+shin+splints&docid=608026251639850206&mid=D2FC02CB98CC20681C4AD2FC02CB98CC20681C4A&view=detail&FORM=VIREHT

Buen Camino
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Sorry to hear this! My companion a couple of years ago recovered completely with about 3 days of rest. Gentle stretching is probable good. Maybe anti-inflammatories too although my companion couldn't take them. I have had minor shinsplints that recovered with a bit less walking than usual.

So hopefully a bit of rest will do the trick!
I used kinesio tape. Not sure if thats how it is spelt but commonly known as KT. Put it on in Estella after a very painful day. Walked next day to Los Arcos, yes with pain, but greatly reduced. Within two days, I was pain free and it never recurred on that camino
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
I try to maximize my training about a month before my trip. In the final month, I continue to train but at a modest pace to prevent injuries at the last minute.


-Paul
 

Cindy P.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 3017
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
My sympathies!! I got them part way through my camino. My saviour was a pharmacist who gave me a compression sleeve, which I wore every day walking (I took it off at night). Combined with Voltaren and icing, they went away within a week. Good luck!
 

AussieJane

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving St Jean 18/5/17
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
I had problems with shin splints on the C2C the year before I walked the Camino. As part of my prep for the CF , I got 3 rounds of shock wave therapy to my shins from a podiatrist ( some physios do it to ) . Painful therapy but Never had a problem ! Look it up on Youtube
 

AussieJane

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving St Jean 18/5/17
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
Oh and also roll a cold can of soft drink up and down your shins , and anti inflammatory gel
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
I find wearing compression tights underneath my trousers help prevent shin splints. Hope you heal quickly...Buen Camino
 

Dancing Rain

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Salvado (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19

My Camino has apparently begun.
Hi Annie. My beloved’s shin pain came right on our recent Camino!!

Two days complete rest, massage, lots of water, strapping, ankle/calf compression bandage, gel inserts, small steps, altered gait, short distances, and being really careful when walking downhill on paved surfaces all seemed to make a difference

He probably should have replaced his beloved Teva shoes before starting, but thought they seemed fine ..... Walking through very heavy mud between San Bol & Hontanas didn’t help
 

JustCynthiaToday

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plans for April/May, 2018
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
I am experiencing this now about 17 days into my Camino. There are videos online showing ways to use kiniesio (sic) tape to help this problem. I’m going to try this tomorrow. Right now, I’m just walking very short days to try to rest my leg. I’ve also been using an ibuprofen gel that you can buy here. It’s great for all your aches and pains, but is very expensive to get in the US. And you have to have a prescription there. Here it’s over the counter at any Farmácia. Suggest you buy a tube when you get here. It’s great. Good luck and Buen Camino!!
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
How To Minimize the Risk of Shin Splints

I put this together to provide help to those who wish to minimize the risk of the unpleasantness of shin splints while on Camino.

Warm Up -- ALWAYS warm up prior to exercise and stretch well after exercise.

Walk at a slower pace at the beginning of each walk.
  • Then perform ankle circles: rotate ankle ten times in one direction, then ten times in opposite direction.
  • Next, do some toe points: point toes, then flex foot - ten times on each foot to get your muscles loosened up.
  • Do the ankle circles and toes points several times each day or write the alphabet in the air with your toes.
After Walking
Stretch your calves, shins, and Achilles tendon after every walk. Tight muscles make the shin work harder to lift your foot.

When Walking
Choose a good walking surface. Avoid concrete if possible. If you walk on a road with an obvious camber, try walking out and back on the same side of the road to avoid putting too much stress on one leg.

  1. Increase your mileage and speed gradually. The general rule of thumb is to increase mileage at a rate of 10% each week.
  2. Be sure that you are not over striding.
    • Over striding occurs when you take longer steps to increase speed without running. Lengthen the stride in back, rather than in front, to improve power and efficiency in your stride. An overstriding walker has their front foot too far out in front of body. You want instead for your forward foot to contact the ground closer to your body.
    • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body. This is because your forward leg has no power, while your back leg is what is pushing you forward.
  3. Be Aware of Your Step Rate
    • Increasing your cadence or step rate will significantly reduce impact forces. Focus on striking beneath your center of mass and avoid stepping out in front of your body—this will also prevent over striding and braking—to lessen the load placed on the tibia.
Perform Exercises to Strengthen Calves and Shins
Studies demonstrate that bigger and stronger calf muscles have a lower risk of developing tibial stress fractures. Since tibial stress fractures can be the result of shin splints that haven’t been addressed, it makes sense that strengthening your calves may also help walkers avoid medial tibial stress syndrome.

Consider the following strength exercises to help strengthen those calves and the surrounding muscles to help prevent shin splints:

Calf Raises
Standing with your feet slightly apart, raise up onto your toes, pause for 2 seconds, and lower back down. Complete two sets of 15 repetitions.

Toe Walks
Standing on your tiptoes, walk forward 15 yards. Complete two sets of 15 yards.

Foot Pumps
Lie down with your legs straight out in front of your body and your toes pointed toward the sky. In a pumping motion, point your toes back towards your body and then back to the original position. Complete two sets of 20 repetitions.

Heel Drop
Standing on a stair or elevated platform, put your weight on your right foot while lowering your right heel past 90 degrees. Slowly raise back up and repeat before switching sides. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

If you have shin pain, you may need to take a day or two of rest and start back more slowly.

Remember: RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ibuprofen is often recommended. There are health risks with this product. So, don't use without doing your own research.

BE AWARE -- There are a couple of related lower leg injuries which some folks may think are shin splints, but require medical intervention:

Compartment Syndrome
Pain on the lower anterior may be compartment syndrome, a swelling of the muscles within the compartment. Increased pressure compromises the area's circulation and function of the tissues in that space. Symptoms include pain, unusual nerve sensations, and muscle weakness. This condition requires a physician's diagnosis and surgical decompression may be necessary.

Stress Fracture
Another cause of pain in the lower leg is a stress fracture. If you have a definite spot of sharp pain when you run your hand along your shin the pain may be a stress fracture. A horizontal rather than vertical line of pain is another indicator and stress fractures normally feel better in the morning after a night of rest. A bone scan is necessary for diagnosis.
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
How To Minimize the Risk of Shin Splints

I put this together to provide help to those who wish to minimize the risk of the unpleasantness of shin splints while on Camino.

Warm Up -- ALWAYS warm up prior to exercise and stretch well after exercise.

Walk at a slower pace at the beginning of each walk.
  • Then perform ankle circles: rotate ankle ten times in one direction, then ten times in opposite direction.
  • Next, do some toe points: point toes, then flex foot - ten times on each foot to get your muscles loosened up.
  • Do the ankle circles and toes points several times each day or write the alphabet in the air with your toes.
After Walking
Stretch your calves, shins, and Achilles tendon after every walk. Tight muscles make the shin work harder to lift your foot.

When Walking
Choose a good walking surface. Avoid concrete if possible. If you walk on a road with an obvious camber, try walking out and back on the same side of the road to avoid putting too much stress on one leg.

  1. Increase your mileage and speed gradually. The general rule of thumb is to increase mileage at a rate of 10% each week.
  2. Be sure that you are not over striding.
    • Over striding occurs when you take longer steps to increase speed without running. Lengthen the stride in back, rather than in front, to improve power and efficiency in your stride. An overstriding walker has their front foot too far out in front of body. You want instead for your forward foot to contact the ground closer to your body.
    • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body. This is because your forward leg has no power, while your back leg is what is pushing you forward.
  3. Be Aware of Your Step Rate
    • Increasing your cadence or step rate will significantly reduce impact forces. Focus on striking beneath your center of mass and avoid stepping out in front of your body—this will also prevent over striding and braking—to lessen the load placed on the tibia.
Perform Exercises to Strengthen Calves and Shins
Studies demonstrate that bigger and stronger calf muscles have a lower risk of developing tibial stress fractures. Since tibial stress fractures can be the result of shin splints that haven’t been addressed, it makes sense that strengthening your calves may also help walkers avoid medial tibial stress syndrome.

Consider the following strength exercises to help strengthen those calves and the surrounding muscles to help prevent shin splints:

Calf Raises
Standing with your feet slightly apart, raise up onto your toes, pause for 2 seconds, and lower back down. Complete two sets of 15 repetitions.

Toe Walks
Standing on your tiptoes, walk forward 15 yards. Complete two sets of 15 yards.

Foot Pumps
Lie down with your legs straight out in front of your body and your toes pointed toward the sky. In a pumping motion, point your toes back towards your body and then back to the original position. Complete two sets of 20 repetitions.

Heel Drop
Standing on a stair or elevated platform, put your weight on your right foot while lowering your right heel past 90 degrees. Slowly raise back up and repeat before switching sides. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

If you have shin pain, you may need to take a day or two of rest and start back more slowly.

Remember: RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ibuprofen is often recommended. There are health risks with this product. So, don't use without doing your own research.

BE AWARE -- There are a couple of related lower leg injuries which some folks may think are shin splints, but require medical intervention:

Compartment Syndrome
Pain on the lower anterior may be compartment syndrome, a swelling of the muscles within the compartment. Increased pressure compromises the area's circulation and function of the tissues in that space. Symptoms include pain, unusual nerve sensations, and muscle weakness. This condition requires a physician's diagnosis and surgical decompression may be necessary.

Stress Fracture
Another cause of pain in the lower leg is a stress fracture. If you have a definite spot of sharp pain when you run your hand along your shin the pain may be a stress fracture. A horizontal rather than vertical line of pain is another indicator and stress fractures normally feel better in the morning after a night of rest. A bone scan is necessary for diagnosis.
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
Thank you Dave.very good exercices,I will bring them with me next year for my four Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I am experiencing this now about 17 days into my Camino. There are videos online showing ways to use kiniesio (sic) tape to help this problem. I’m going to try this tomorrow. Right now, I’m just walking very short days to try to rest my leg. I’ve also been using an ibuprofen gel that you can buy here. It’s great for all your aches and pains, but is very expensive to get in the US. And you have to have a prescription there. Here it’s over the counter at any Farmácia. Suggest you buy a tube when you get here. It’s great. Good luck and Buen Camino!!
Thanks Cynthia. I bring the ibuprofen gel home every year. This year I even found a stronger version in Mexico. I hope your legs heal quickly. Again, thanks to everyone.

I bought a travel roller
I bought KT tape
I have ibuprofen gel
I bought compression sleeves
I’m resting and drinking water.
I think I’m good.
 

Lisa HS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) Spring (2016)
Portuguese (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) Spring (2018)
I am in Santiago now. Just arrived today having finished the Portuguese from Porto. Shin splints hit me 2 days before Valença, and I ended up sitting it out there for 3 days (not a bad place to be stuck). 800 km 2 years ago on the Frances, and not one problem...5 days on the cobblestones of Portugal, and I was a wreck. In any case, I think the thing that saved me, aside from the forced rest stop, is that I ended up shipping my pack for quite a few days after that. I decided that that extra 7 kilos could make the difference in my being able to walk. Even though it went against what I wished, it's certainly ended up working. Consider judicious use of the pack transport folks.
 

jpsmit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 "2018"
A friend walked the Camino last year and got shin splints. By chance he met a soccer player who said there is a pressure point that you need to massage on the back of your calf. Worked for him and for me too. About half way up - you will feel it when you find it!
 

Lynda t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago May 2010
Lisbon to Santiago May 2012
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
Rest your stockinged foot on an oval stone or similar and rock and roll your foot back and forth applying a little pressure, not all your weight. I found that really helped.
 

gml

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago, Sept/Oct 2012
Le Puy to Roncesvalles, Oct/Nov 2014
When I developed shin splints halfway through the Camino Frances, I found that ibuprofen, walking shorter distances/day (15-16 km vs ~25), and -- crucially -- avoiding overstriding made all the difference. The problem was gone in about three days. I didn't previously know anything about overstriding. I realized I had been doing it only when I began experimenting to find a way to put one foot in front of the other without screaming pain. Finding your own optimal stride should help.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
If you want to visit a physio, maybe he/she can tape you that you see how it is done in 'the right way'.

Get well soon!
Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

Nick Read

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Camino de Santiago (Camino Frances 2013-2017)
All the above is really good advice.
When I developed shin splints I reduced my pace and took ibuprofen.
I think my walking poles also helped.
I hope it goes well.
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances and plan to start over in April 2018.
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
Try DMSO -- it is used on race horses with soft tissue injury who need to br ready to race in short order. I have used it for shin splints and Achilles Tendonitis with good results.

Also consider breaking up the distance betwedn SJPP & Roncevaux into two days. Be gentle with yourself!

Vanozza
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Try DMSO -- it is used on race horses with soft tissue injury who need to br ready to race in short order. I have used it for shin splints and Achilles Tendonitis with good results.

Also consider breaking up the distance betwedn SJPP & Roncevaux into two days. Be gentle with yourself!

Vanozza
DMSO is packed up and unaccessible, but that was a good idea.
The foam roller was too soft and so I returned it.
I've walked SJPP to Roncesvalles in two days about 10 times, so yes, I know about that :)
I'll be fine. :)
 

Kathryn1966

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
I got shin splints and was told to get a bandage soak in vinegar and wrap around you ankle and put your feet up along the wall and just rest and somehow it worked
 

Buniontrotter

What's around the corner?
Camino(s) past & future
From Dublin, Ireland to Santiago, arrived May 2009
From St Jacobi Parochie to Santiago, arrived June 2014
From Seville, Via de la Plata, halfway there, October 2014
Completed Via de la Plata in May 2013
Will start in Brussels in September 2015 to lead onto the Voie de Tours and onto the Northern route and the Primitivo, God willing.
I leave for the Camino in 5 days and I am having some pretty scary pain in the outer front edges of my legs when I walk.
After all these years, what a time to develop shin splints!
I guess maybe I'm getting old and out of shape?

I'm icing, massaging, stretching, and resting.
Anybody have a miraculous cure?
I walk SJPP to Roncesvalles on May 19.

My Camino has apparently begun.
Hi Cathrine, sorry to hear that, you probably over-trained a little lately. The same thing happened to me a couple of years ago and I could barely walk. My shins were swollen and creaked when I moved my foot up and down. GP told me I would be out of action for 6 weeks, and I had planned to go walking in Wales (on the way to Santiago) the following week. I went to an excellent physiotherapist for 4 consecutive days (yes, it did cost me a bit but it was worth every penny!) She gave me electrotherapie followed by acupuncture each of those days. I had to rest as much as possible with the legs raised and ice them as often and as long as I could stand (careful not to burn).
The following week I travelled and walked! Every few hours I stopped, rested at a cafe or pub, asked for a bag of ice, and sat down with the legs raised (after explaining and asking permission of course - if at all possible, somewhere at an outside table). I also used Voltaren Gel and still do whenever I feel it coming on. Stuff made in heaven!
Just remember for now forget about walking, allow the healing to take place and you'll be fine
BUEN CAMINO!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I’m not Catherine but thanks.

Robo, I’ve been using my regular foam roller with good results. However, the one I got from amazon was WAY too soft- to the point f being useless - and I returned it. If I need one I can maybe find one in Pamplona.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
I’m not Catherine but thanks.

Robo, I’ve been using my regular foam roller with good results. However, the one I got from amazon was WAY too soft- to the point f being useless - and I returned it. If I need one I can maybe find one in Pamplona.
Ours is very hard. With knobbles. Hardly gives at all with all my weight on it.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Your trip is probably about over by now.... but it might help others to remember, that if your body is stressed, you can send your bag ahead from April -October from many locations for a few days to reduce pain.
 

Marina Millar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2017
This might help a little, when I played rugby I found that a could relief the affects of shin slits by taping my shins above and below where the pain was. I have no scientific explanation why this would work but it could be worth a go
Yes! I agree- I had a knee brace that I used as a pressure bandage, and mysteriously it did offer much appreciated comfort.
 

mlhhome

Really new member
Camino(s) past & future
Various (‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18 & ‘19)
Annie,
It is time for WAR! Wine and Rest!
Lean back, read and dream of your next Camino. Never hurry during either the wine or rest stages of recovery. I have seen marvelous results from this strategy and hope you do too.
Mike
 

Lucaya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
walk the Camino(2020)
A couple of months ago someone else had complained about shin splits and one of the suggestions was to change shoes. I was starting to have pain in my shins so I tried buying a pair of shoes 1/2 size smaller. I had forgotten that I had bought my shoes a little larger this year. The new shoes cured it immediately.

Lots of suggestions for you today. We all hope you get well fast and have a buen camino!
Yes, it is necessary to change a pair of shoes. Pay attention to the posture of walking to ensure that the body parts are in the proper position. In addition, compression sleeves provide support for the calf. You can find them in online stores. Their common name is the recovery compression calf sleeve. I wore them while training for the half marathon. It provided comfort while running, provided calf support, and relieved the soreness of my calf muscles.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
A couple of months ago someone else had complained about shin splits and one of the suggestions was to change shoes. I was starting to have pain in my shins so I tried buying a pair of shoes 1/2 size smaller. I had forgotten that I had bought my shoes a little larger this year. The new shoes cured it immediately.

Lots of suggestions for you today. We all hope you get well fast and have a buen camino!
I know this is an old thread but this particular response caught my eye in the context of other posts I've been reading currently where the topic of what size shoes to wear on the Camino comes up and the frequent advice is to buy shoes a little larger to wear on the Camino.
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
@David Tallan I wear Keen Voyageur hiking shoes that have a piece of rubber that comes up over the front of the shoe. I think that adds a bit of weight to the front of the shoe, so wearing a larger size made it that much heavier to lift my foot and was causing the shin splints. I was trying the advice to wear a larger size, but it didn't work for me.
 

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