Shin Splints – The Unglamorous Injury

Odds are, if you were ever in the Army, you’ve had to dance with shin splits (metaphorically and literally).

Technically, this is “Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome” and is caused by a number of compounding factors but it’s essentially due to too much running and marching and an inflammation of the tissue connecting the muscles to your shin bone (tibia).

Anatomy of the lower leg with areas of inflammation due to shin splints

I suffered from them for YEARS when I was a young buck. I had no idea how to fix them and everyday I suffered in silence hoping that they would just GO AWAY

They eventually did…AFTER 2 YEARS!

I don’t want you to suffer for 2 years, that’s why I’m putting this post out there.

Watch the video and whether you have shin splints or not, start implementing the protocol immediately.

How do we get rid of these nasty reminders that we ran or rucked too much?

Do these 3 things and you’ll be back to dancing, running and rucking pain free again:

  1. Do the treatment techniques in the video and take some anti-inflammatories for acute pain.
  2. Reduce the amount of kilometres you’re putting on your legs for about 2 weeks.
  3. DO NOT put ice on it.

Now all these seem pretty self-evident except for the no ice factor. The R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) protocol has been the gold standard for injury recovery since the 1980s and is very deeply engrained in our culture. I guarantee every time you sprained your ankle or busted up your hand you immediately went to the freezer and popped on an ice pack. Well, hate to break it to ya buck but that shit isn’t helping. It’s actually slowing the healing process down….WTF???

Ok, so Dr. Mirkin was the inventor of the R.I.C.E protocol and in 2014 he revised his position, based on the evidence and said that ice on an injury is the opposite of what you should be doing to heal it. In his own words,

“It’s perfectly fine to ice if you want, but realize it’s delaying healing…[Icing] is not going to change anything in the long term.”

Additionally, strictly resting your injury isn’t advisable either. According to Mirkin,

“Don’t increase your pain, but you want to move as soon as you can.”

When I first read this, talk about paradigm shift. It’s far from being adopted as the new gospel and many will probably criticize you for not following “standard” healing protocols but trust me and Dr. Mirkin, lay off the ice and get your body moving is the best way to heal.

Don’t forget to Like and Subscribe to my Youtube channel and head to my HRD2KILL Warrior Fitness Programs FB page for tons more content like this.

Train Hard, Fight Easy


Dave is a retired infantry officer and Afghanistan war veteran. He’s the creator of the HRD2KILL training program that was built on the principles that got him from not being able to get out of bed to competing in the Crossfit Open, Spartan Races and the Montreal Gaelic Athletics Association. You can find more mobility based exercises in his new book, “The Nimble Warrior”, now available on Apple Books and Amazon or tune into his new HRD2KILL Podcast

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