Chronic Posterior Shin Splints

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Kind of a long story but it has been a long time so here is the kind of shortened version of it.

I am a high school cross country runner and have been dealing with this issue since my freshman year(now a senior). I started running at around 11 years old in middle school and never experienced any issues.

To describe the pain, it’s along the inner side of my lower leg. I don’t feel pain on the bone but right beside it. It feels hot and inflamed, sometimes even red or swollen.

I started with the conservative treatments such as ice, heat, stretching/message, even scraping. Some have helped relieve pain but never fixed the root cause. I have gone through several periods of complete rest(except for strength training which I do 6 days a week) ranging from a week to 3 months. I started up slowly and within the first couple runs after my rest period they come back.

I’ve played around with different foot strikes and have even tried engaging different muscles(hips, core, glutes)to try and off load my inner shins. I haven’t found a particular foot strike that works better than others for pain.

I have seen a few doctors including a sports physician who didn’t really help other than suggesting I should switch to minimalist running shoes. But he did have me go through two MRI’s. One on my legs and one on my lower back, no issues in either place. I’ve seen an orthopedic doctor who had custom orthotics made, which didn’t work. I have been to a physical therapist and after a few months he straight up told me he doesn’t know how to help and I should try other sports. I know I should be able to run as much as my friends I just need to figure out what I’m doing wrong with my running.

So basically I have posterior shin splints(I’m assuming at least) and have tried virtually everything. Most recently I bought a pair of minimalist shoes because why not after 4 years of nothing else working. Hoping it might strengthen my foot and ankle muscles. I’m only a couple runs in to it so I don’t know if it works yet. Running means a lot to me and I haven’t been able to do it pain free in a very long time so any information would be helpful. Thank you in advance.

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