Leg Pain After Running
Shin splints occur when you have pain in the front of your lower leg. The pain of shin splints is from the inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your shin. Shin splints are a common problem for runners, gymnasts, dancers, and military recruits.
However, there are things you can do to heal from shin splints and prevent them from getting worse. Shin splints are an overuse problem. You get shin splints from overloading your leg muscles, tendons or shin bone. Most often, the activity that causes the injury is high impact and repetitive exercise of your lower legs.
This is why runners, dancers, and gymnasts often get shin splints. Common situations that cause shin splints are:
Sudden change in activity level, whether it is in intensity or durationRunning, especially on hills. If you are a new runner, you are at greater risk for shin splints.Increasing your days of training.Increasing the intensity of training, or going a longer distance.Doing exercise that has frequent stops and starts, such as dancing, basketball, or military training.
You are more at risk for shin splints if you:
Have flat feet or very rigid foot arches.Work out on hard surfaces, such as running on the street or playing basketball or tennis on a hard court.Do not wear the proper shoes.Wear worn out shoes. Running shoes lose over half of their shock absorbing ability after 250 miles (400 kilometers) of use.
Pain in one or both legsSharp or dull, aching pain in the front of your shinPain when you push on your shinsPain that gets worse during and after exercisePain that gets better with rest
If you have severe shin splints, your legs may hurt even when you are not walking. Expect that you need at least 2 to 4 weeks of rest from your sport or exercise.
Avoid repetitive exercise of your lower leg for 1 to 2 weeks. Keep your activity to just the walking that you do during your regular day.Try other low impact activities as long as you do not have pain, such as swimming, elliptical machine, or biking.
After 2 to 4 weeks, if the pain is gone, you can start your usual exercise activities. Increase your activity level slowly. If the pain returns, stop exercising right away. Know that shin splints can take 3 to 6 months to heal completely. Do not rush back into your sport or exercise. You could injure yourself again. Things you can do to ease discomfort include:
Ice your shins. Ice several times a day for 3 days or until pain is gone.Do stretching exercises, especially over the front part of the shin.Take ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to decrease swelling and to help with pain. Know these medicines have side effects and can cause ulcers and bleeding. Talk to your health care provider about how much you can take.Use arch supports. Talk with your provider or physical therapist about wearing the proper shoes, and about special shock-absorbing insoles or orthotics to wear inside your shoes.Work with a physical therapist. They can use therapies that may help with the pain. They can teach you exercises to strengthen your leg muscles.
To prevent shin splints from recurring:
Be pain-free for at least 2 weeks before returning to your exercise routine.Do not overdo your exercise routine. Do not return to your previous level of intensity. Go slower, for a shorter time. Increase your training slowly.Warm up and stretch before and after exercise.Ice your shins after exercise to decrease swelling.Avoid hard surfaces.Wear proper shoes with good support and padding.Consider changing the surface that you train on.Cross train and add in low impact exercise, such as swimming or biking.
Shin splints are most often not serious. Call your provider if:
You have pain after several weeks even with rest, icing, and pain relievers.You are not sure whether your pain is caused by shin splints.Swelling in your lower legs is getting worse.Your shin is red and feels hot to the touch.
Your provider may take an x-ray or perform other tests to make sure you do not have a stress fracture. You will also be checked to make sure you do not have another shin problem, such as tendonitis or compartment syndrome. Lower leg pain – self-care; Pain – shins – self-care; Anterior tibial pain – self-care; Medial tibial stress syndrome – self-care; MTSS – self-care; Exercise-induced leg pain – self-care; Tibial periostitis – self-care; Posterior tibial shin splints – self-care Davenport M, Franco VS.
Nee and lower leg injuries. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice,10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 48. Kubinski A, Amendola A. Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints). In: Miller MD, Hart JA, MacKnight JM, eds. Essential Orthopedics,2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 159.
Mugleston BJ, Krabak BJ. Caring for and counseling the youth runner. In: Harrast MA, ed. Clinical Care of the Runner, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 21. Stretanski MF. Shin splints. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,4th ed.
Does soreness mean a good workout?
1. Thinking Cardio is King! – One common misconception I always have to combat is the prevailing thought that being sore after a workout is the sign of a good workout. Soreness following a workout is not an indicator of a good workout, nor is the absence of soreness an indicator of a poor workout.
Feeling sore is an indicator of tiny microscopic tears in the muscle resulting in inflammation, often referred to as DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). The soreness you are feeling is the inflammation. It typically begins 24-48 hours post exercise and lasts 24-72 hours depending on the individual. Often this is brought on simply by performing a new movement that the body is not used to or performing heavy controlled eccentric movements (lengthening).
Some soreness post workout is not a bad thing as long as it is not impacting your activity levels in the following days. If you become so sore that you cannot exercise, or even really move so much the following day, that’s a sign of too much stress on your body and is actually detrimental to your goals.
- If you’re too sore you may be inclined to skip your next workout, or you won’t get the most out of your workout.
- I stress to clients the goal of resistance training is to elicit the most body adaptation with the least amount of work.
- Now I’m not saying not to work hard in the gym, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to your goals.
I’m saying to be efficient with the work you put in. Don’t over do it striving to feel sore the next day, you’re better off leaving a little in the tank to ensure you can maximize your next workout as well. When you do experience DOMS, some type of active recovery is the best way to address the muscle soreness.
An example is foam rolling, dynamic stretches, followed by body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, and pushups to increase the blood flow and help aid in recovery. Nothing too stressful or demanding on your body. Beginner yoga classes and stretching classes are also great options to mix it up and aid in recovery.
Even if it’s far less intense than your cardio classes or fat burning workouts usually are, it will be just enough to combat the DOMS and help reduce the inflammation faster. : Should We Be Striving For Soreness When Working Out?
Should I stretch sore muscles?
Acute and Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) – Sore muscles are a fact of life when it comes to exercising. It’s part and parcel of getting stronger and healthier. Muscle soreness develops because of microscopic damage to the muscle fibres used during the exercising.
- Acute soreness is felt straight away and is partly caused by a build up of lactic acid.
- Gentle stretching or massaging, done immediately after the exercise, will help reduce the lactic acid and so aid recovery.
- Delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, occurs 24 to 72 hours after the exercise and can take up to a week to recover from.
The good news is recovery from both types of soreness can be aided through rest, improved hydration, and gentle stretching.
Why do runners have flat stomachs?
Seven ways to a flat stomach Go jogging Good news: we all have an ironing-board stomach. Bad news: more often than not it is hidden beneath at least one layer of fat. To find it, start by increasing the amount of fat-burning aerobic activity you do. That will lower your body fat levels so you can see the muscles you are trying to work, says Louise Sutton, principal lecturer in health and exercise science at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Aerobic exercise such as running, swimming or rowing raises metabolism during and after the activity, making it less likely that calories will be stored around the abdominal area, or anywhere else, as fat,” Sutton says. Don’t starve yourself While a healthy, low-fat diet is important for reducing body fat and flattening your stomach, eating too little can backfire, with disastrous consequences for your midriff.
According to personal trainer Kevin Barclay-Webb, whose clients include Annie Lennox and Ivana Trump, cutting calories too drastically “increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol and insulin, which controls blood-sugar levels”. Consequently, he says, “the body responds by storing excess calories in the abdominal region”.
Mostly the calories are stored as fat – “which is why otherwise very thin people can still have a roly-poly belly”. Ditch the gadgets A study by researchers at Kansas State University found that gadgets that promise a flat stomach with regular use might not be worth the money. The study, published last year in the Journal Of Athletic Training, involved 23 men and women using various devices, while electrodes measured the stimulation to their abdominal muscles.
On average, the products elicited no greater muscle activity than traditional sit-ups. Two of the pieces of equipment, an ab slide and a fitness ball, caused more activity in the hip flexors than in the stomach – “an undesirable feature of abdominal exercises”, the researchers concluded.
- Laugh yourself flatter Warwick McNeill, a chartered physiotherapist based at the Physioworks clinic in London, says that strengthening one muscle above all others – the transverse abdominus – has the greatest bearing on flattening the midriff.
- Because it is so deeply embedded, however, it is difficult to isolate.
“A lot of fitness activities, like aerobics, don’t work the abdominal area effectively,” McNeill says. “The real key to strengthening the transverse abdominus muscle lies in very subtle movements. Laughing is ideal, because it contracts the muscle appropriately.” Improve your posture A lot of gym-goers have round shoulders as a result of training programmes that over-concentrate on the chest and shoulders.
- But you can look instantly slimmer just by altering the way you stand.
- Standing up straight can have an instant stomach-flattening effect,” says physiotherapist Sammy Margo, a spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
- Maintain the natural curves of the spine, watching for exaggerated arching in the back, which could push the abdominals forward, creating a rounded tummy.
Lengthen up through your spine and don’t slump.” Try Pilates The abdominals act like a corset for the internal organs, so it is not just the muscles at the front that need to be toned, says Pilates instructor Jo Tuffrey. “For a strong, well-toned midriff, you need to condition the external oblique muscles that run down the sides, the internal obliques that allow you to bend and twist and the deep transverse abdominus that circles the body like a belt,” she says.
Repetitive exercises like sit-ups and crunches can do more harm than good, because they work only one area. The result could be that the strong muscles tighten, leaving the waist looking thicker. Pilates tackles the whole works, helping to develop a strong centre to the body by recruiting all muscles to lengthen, strengthen and stretch them into shape.” Watch what you eat Chewing gum is a particular enemy of those determined to avoid the pot-bellied pig look.
Researchers at the American College of Gastroenterology found that it makes you swallow a lot of air, which inflates the belly until it is expelled. Smokers and fast talkers have the same problem. There are some dietary factors that contribute to a bloated stomach that can be addressed immediately.
Why do runners have belly fat?
You’re Stressed Out – “Belly fat itself is a different beast. If you find you are able to lose weight in other places but not your belly, the culprit could be genetics, but it also could be cortisol,” explained Rachel. If you have a fast-paced, busy life (you’re not alone!), the level of stress hormones in the body will rise.
- Then you go running and this also creates high levels of cortisol levels in the body, explained NASM-certified trainer Ondrea Lynn.
- They go back into their life after their run and repeat the stress cycle.” Increased cortisol levels can cause your body to hang on to fat on your tummy more than on other places.
That’s because “over time, persistently high levels of cortisol seen in stress promote the storage of excess glucose as fat in the abdomen, causing belly fat,” Erica Patel, MD, explained in a previous interview. Find ways to lower your stress levels and take a little time for self-care: read, listen to music, take a bath, meditate, write in a journal, or spend time with friends and family that lift your mood.8 / 9
Does running slim your stomach?
Moderate-to-High Intensity Running Targets Harmful Belly Fat – Carrying excess belly fat is extremely bad for your health. Many studies show a connection between belly fat and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases ( 10, 11 ).
- Studies have found that moderate-to-high aerobic exercise like running can reduce belly fat, even without changing your diet ( 12, 13, 14 ).
- An analysis of 15 studies and 852 participants found that aerobic exercise reduced belly fat without any change in diet.
- However, training at moderate-to-high intensity was most effective at reducing belly fat ( 14 ).
Another study of 27 middle-aged women found that high-intensity running considerably reduced belly fat, compared to low-intensity walking/running or no exercise ( 15 ). Lastly, a study of 45 healthy but inactive women found that high-intensity interval exercise three times per week significantly reduced body fat and belly fat, compared to steady pace exercise or no exercise ( 16 ).