Unfortunately, we strongly discourage continuing to run while suffering from a case of shin splints. Because it is an overuse injury, continuing to run will only delay healing or make the problem worse. Your body needs time to heal and repair itself without incurring additional stresses.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to cease all activity. While your feet and legs will need a break from the constant pounding of running, you can switch to forms of low-impact exercise to keep your heart rate and fitness up. Go for a swim, walk, or bike ride instead, or try strength training. Furthermore, once you’re cleared to return to running, you may wish to continue mixing these low-impact activities into your routine while reducing your weekly mileage. This will allow you to cross-train multiple muscle groups and avoid overstressing any one particular area.
If you’re struggling with painful shin splints as a result of running, please contact North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute for an evaluation and discussion of treatment options. You can request an appointment online, or call 512-593-2949.