Shin splints tendonitis, ice baths/dipping after excersie or when?

by Ricardo
(Orlando, FL)

This has been great advice. Thank you.

I already take ice baths for my legs after I go for a run.

But my understanding is that instead of doing an ice bath for 15 minutes it would be better to dip multiple times in and out so that blood can go in and out. Is that correct?

Also do I want to do this only after I work out or run or can and should I do it even when I have not warmed up or done any exercise?

Lastly should I try and do this multiple times in a day or just once a day is enough?

I appreciate all your advise. I am going into the military to be an Army Ranger and need to be in top shape for when I go in two months from now.

As it is right now, sometimes I can go on a long run with no problems at all and sometimes just a 1 mile run can start hurting.

If there is a certain routine or anything else you can recommend I would greatly appreciate it.

I look forward to your response.

Thank you



Joshua Answers:

Hey Ricardo.

I'm so excited to hear from somebody that does ice baths! Nobody does that! Yeay!

1. So yes, even though it's messier and less convenient, I find multiple short dips to be much more effective than one long (potentially painful) dip.

I'd rather squeeze the sponge multiple times as opposed to one time.

2. You can ice and ice dip and ice bath whenever you want, as often as you want.
Icing creates circulation. Old stuff out, new blood and nutrition in.

Can't get too much of that.

3. So if you're wanting to try for the Rangers, I'm assuming that you are a strong and healthy kind of guy.

I don't know how much running they make you do, but if you can run a lot with no pain, and then run a little with pain, it's safe to say that you have a Shin Splint Tendonitis dynamic establishing itself and progressively getting worse.

Bad news is, Rest and taking time off likely aren't going to help you at all.

Will ice dipping be enough? Hmmmm. For conversation sake, I'm going to say no it won't.

So...what to do then, you ask.

First off, give me some more info.

1. How bad does it hurt when it does hurt?

2. How long does it hurt when it hurts?

3. Where exactly? A little area? A big area?

4. What is your experience with the running/ice baths/shin splints symptoms?

5. Anything else relevant, or not so relevant?

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Aug 12, 2009
PART 2 - Shin splints tendonitis, ice baths/dipping after excersie or when?
by: Ricardo

1. Depends if I continue going or if I stop when it begins. It continuously gets worst as I continue.

2. As long as I stop and start walking it stops. I can still feel it but it does not hurt if I stop.

3. Its the tendon right in front of my leg, next to my shin. It goes from right under my knee to about half way down my shin

4. It seems to really help but I think i need to do it more often.

5. I believe my problem started in college when i became a big meat head and quit doing cardio. Then i first noticed it about 2 years ago when i would play basketball or other sports with high impact on my shins. I stopped playing and took it easy and now it had not really bothered me too much because I would bike or do elliptical for cardio and occasionally run.

Now its flaring up again. I have also been stretching a lot more and warm up before I go on runs. I believe when I was doing the ice baths a little more religiously for about 2 weeks it was not really bothering too much at all but I took off for about a week and ran again and that's when it started again.

If there is any tips you can give me I would greatly appreciate it. I think if I start doing it 2 times a day and strengthening my calf and legs i might be alright.

The bad part is that I have waited till almost the last minute. I only have 2 months before I go off to training so any advise would be greatly appreciated. The good thing is that I have to go to basic first and that wont be too bad. I wont have to worry about running for very extended periods of time till ranger training 3 months after that.

Thanks again


Aug 13, 2009
PART 3 - Shin splints tendonitis, ice baths/dipping after excersie or when?
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Answers:

2 months, that's doable as long as you put in the time and the effort.

You used a good phrase, 'flaring up'. I think we use this in a context of, 'I was fine, then it hurt, then I was fine again, and now I hurt again.'

The way Tendonitis works, and Shin Splints is a form of that, is that you aren't 'fine'.

Muscles get tighter and tighter. Connective tissue shrinkwraps and gets more and more constrictive. Less circulation. More work required just to move. The nervous system gets more and more concerned, the inflammation process increases a little more and a little more.

Then you play basketball, and those too tight structures get yanked on and you get some wear and tear damaged. Inflammation increases, and your body works hard to compensate so that you won't have to deal with it.

That's when the pain goes away as you rest. Until you get onto your feet again, running.

The good news is, it only hurts when you run, putting a certain amount of strain on the structure.

The bad news is, rest and time won't heal this. It's safe to say that if you went for a long run right now, you'd be hurting. And if you kept running, you'd REALLY be hurting.

Ice Dip. And, Ice Massage. And I mean, get that ice in there, pressing and gouging and stretching the tissue.

As I've started to suggest, get a frozen water bottle and use it like a rolling pin, except don't roll it, drag it. This will give more stretch.

We need to make the muscles relax again, and we need to stretch that connective tissue that right now is too constrictive.

Make sense?

More questions, more answers.

Aug 14, 2009
PART 4 - Shin splints tendonitis, ice baths/dipping after excersie or when?
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Also, I might as well mention Magnesium.

Check out my Magnesium for Tendonitis page and my Kerri's Magnesium Dosage page for more info and amounts.

It may or may not be noticeable for you, but I'm finding that it definitely makes a difference. And in the interest of getting good to go in the next two months....

Also, can you take supplements into bootcamp/Rangers? If so, it would be SMART to have a plan for that to support your health/ability to perform.

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