Should I use a fracture walking boot for shin splints? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run podcast.
Should I use a fracture walking boot for shin splints? Well this is a great question. Believe it or not, most of the time when I see a runner, either on webcam or in their home, and they have shin splints, and they’ve been given a fracture walking boot, they need the fracture walking boot and maybe even more.
But what that really tells me when a doctor says you have shin splints but you need a boot, that it’s really that the doctor is uncertain about the actual diagnosis, because in my view, most of the time, if you have shin splints, you do not need a fracture walking boot. However, if we’re not sure if you have shin splints, if we think maybe you have a tibial stress fracture, or something a bit more serious, then the doctor might give you a fracture walking boot.
Now the flip side of that is that if you have shin splints and you’re trying to just decrease the irritation to let it calm down, a fracture walking boot might let it calm down a little bit faster, but I do not often use fracture walking boots for shin splints, because you pay a heavy price for using the fracture walking boot. You get weaker, you get stiffer. You’re obviously not going to run in a fracture walking boot. So the shin splints are a pretty minor thing that if you address it appropriately, and decrease the stress and strain that’s leading to the shin splints, then you know that you’re on the right track.
But, there are lots of times that I see runners who are told to have shin splints and that’s not what they have at all. They either have exertional compartment syndrome or a tibial stress fracture or something else, or maybe even anterior shin splints, which technically is shin splints, but it does not behave like medial tibial stress syndrome that we think of as the common shin splits.
So, go check out the masterclass I created for you on shin splints. It’ll really help you understand these things in much greater detail. Just go to docontherun.com/shinsplints, and you can join me free in the training there. I’ll see you there.