Why Running Is Hurting Your Shins

Running is one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise. It can be done pretty much anywhere and only requires a pair of running shoes. However, running is a high-impact exercise that can cause injuries in some people. One of the most common injuries in this sport is shin splints. And yes, this injury is as bad as it sounds. Shin splints occur when calf muscles are overused and begin to tear (via Runner's World). This term actually refers to multiple types of lower leg injuries that all occur due to too much stress in the calf and shin area.

Symptoms of shin splints include moderate to severe pain along the inside of the shin that often aches or throbs. Pain is also felt when you press on the area. Shin splints typically hurt the worst at the beginning of a run, but the pain will often subside as the muscles loosen up. However, shin splints will only get worse without treatment, so you should not take the reduction of pain as a sign that your shin splints have gone away. Icing your shins can reduce inflammation and help you heal if you must keep running. But the best treatment for shin splints is rest. It typically takes two to four weeks for shin splints to fully heal.

Other health risks of running

Although running is a great form of exercise, it's important to listen to your body in order to avoid injuries and other health concerns. According to Healthline, people who run every day put themselves at risk of developing injuries from overusing muscles or joints. While some people can run dozens of miles each day without injury, your body needs time to build up to that kind of endurance. If you notice persistent pain while running that doesn't go away after several days, you should take a break and speak with a doctor or physical therapist.

While some discomfort, like shortness of breath, is common in beginning runners, it is important to know the difference between harmless and dangerous discomfort. According to Runner's World, heart attacks are not unheard of in intense runners. While uncommon, heart attacks usually begin with chest pain while running. If you experience this, stop running and get help immediately. Chest pain should always be taken seriously. Lightheadedness, shortness of breath (outside of what you usually experience when your heart rate is high), and nausea are other potentially serious signs you shouldn't ignore while running. If these symptoms do not dissipate quickly, seek medical care.