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How does this happen!? shin splints 101


EQD

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well i know how it happens.. i guess i'm throwing in the towel though.

it seems like ever since i turned 18 the warranty on my body has expired. osteopenia(due to depo), torn muscles due to overworking pushups, messed up joints due to overstretching, messed up rib cartilage due to jumping pull ups and a bad move in juijitsu... NOW--its @#%&@ shin splints!!!

of course of course... i quit. i'm sick of doing this, its like i've become some crappy frail plant. My god, it was only a mile.

Anyway, thought i had recovered, WRONG!

Day before yesterday my right shin acted up again while i was merely teaching my horse to trot next to me. we didnt really go that far and it was on soft soft footing.

BANG, back to square -1 with the right. the left is fine.

I just want to beat someone in the head, but i'd probably break my ankle trying to get to them knowing my luck.

 

Now when i feel about the middle of the shin toward the inside there is a DENT. a DENT!

 

what the hell!?

 

like i said, i'm freaking tired of this, i'm sick of breaking myself all the time. *tosses around numerous empty cardboard boxes*

*sigh*

 

So.. ghost... fitness puffies... gang up on me, and if you would be so kind give me a slow slow slow start off.. so that one day i may be able to actually DO something that resembles the exercise i used to do when i was a teen.

I now know better about splints. but how do i acclimate without going too far??

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not a fan of slow and calm. i really just want to get conditioned to do some daily running is all. without the splints.

but i apparently need to work my way up to what i used to do all the time as a kid.

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Make sure you have good running shoes. I used to get those wretched shin splints when I started running (14 years ago!) but don't anymore, crappy running shoes were the culprit. You have to really respect and listen to your body, too, there is a fine line between working through the burn and pushing yourself too hard and causing injury.

 

My sister is a physiotherapist and she recommends streatching post exercise to prevent injury.

 

You're only young you've got plenty of spring left in you!

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i have a really nice pair of asics. they never caused me any problems last year.

i think i may have just went too far. when i was running i didnt feel like i was overexerting myself. thats the problem. it never feels like i am pushing past my limit. yet i come up 'unsound'

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I suffered terribly from shin splints when I started running (some years ago!). The problem is that you are submitting your lower legs to different stresses to those they are used to - as a result your bone starts to remodel at the area where your muscle attaches.

 

Bone remodeling is exactly what is supposed to happen when exposed to new stress, however when you're running the bone is resorbed but can't be laid down again because you're repeatedly stressing it. This is why if you don't pay attention to your shin splints and try to "run through it" they just get worse, and in theworst case scenario you can end up with stress fractures, which is where the muscle starts to pull away from the bone. This can in fact be seen on xray as a dark line... There's basically no going back from that point!

 

So, annoying as it is, you need to completely cut back on running and do low-impact sports (suggest swimming) for a couple of weeks until the pain goes away. Then you can start running again, but building up distance and intensity very slowly, making 100% sure your muscles are warmed up before you do anything intense, and running on grass/trails wherever possible.

 

Really sorry you've got them! but they can be dealt with, and once you're over them properly they don't seem to come back.

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i have a really nice pair of asics. they never caused me any problems last year.

i think i may have just went too far. when i was running i didnt feel like i was overexerting myself. thats the problem. it never feels like i am pushing past my limit. yet i come up 'unsound'

 

Sorry, I meant to reply to this bit specifically as well...

 

The thing with running is that (especially if you do other sports) you can be running at a speed which is fairly easy for your cardiovascular fitness but which is causing much more stress than your lower legs are used to dealing with. You'll then be completely hammering your legs and will pick up injuries.

 

I found that a good way to tell when I needed to slow down was when my footfalls got noisy - quiet footfalls means your calf/shin muscles are dealing well with the forces being put through them, loud footfalls means they're tired and not working properly.

 

Anyway it's a fantastic day here & I'm going for a run! Hope the above is of some use.

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so i was thinking of maybe doing some walking when the splints leave.

start off walking 1 mile, then do that for three days, one day rest, come back walk one mile, next day walk .75 and jog .25, do that for a few days, (of course rest days in between) and slowly up it by .25 every 3-4 work days.

until i get to 1 mile.

 

is that good?

maybe this way if i go too far i wont tear my body up as bad?

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I've never really looked into it, but I've heard it mentioned that shin splints can be related to underdevelopment of the muscles involved in dorsiflexion of the foot (the muscles opposing the calf muscles). If it's true, then you can try doing high rep dorsiflexion exercises using a band.

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so i was thinking of maybe doing some walking when the splints leave.

start off walking 1 mile, then do that for three days, one day rest, come back walk one mile, next day walk .75 and jog .25, do that for a few days, (of course rest days in between) and slowly up it by .25 every 3-4 work days.

until i get to 1 mile.

 

is that good?

maybe this way if i go too far i wont tear my body up as bad?

 

Yes that sounds great - but of course you need to tailor it to how your body is feeling as you're training.

 

It's incredibly difficult, not to mention frustrating, to have to decrease the amount you're training, especially when you've just got into running! You'll soon be OK again though and witha bit of luck the problem won't recur at all.

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I've never really looked into it, but I've heard it mentioned that shin splints can be related to underdevelopment of the muscles involved in dorsiflexion of the foot (the muscles opposing the calf muscles). If it's true, then you can try doing high rep dorsiflexion exercises using a band.

 

This makes a lot of sense as these muscles soak up a lot of energy when your heel hits the ground, though I personally wouldn't do strengthening exercises while I was actually recovering from shin splints - but that's just my feeling and I'm not a physio or anything

 

EQD - By the way the medical term for shin splints is "medial tibial stress syndrome" if you want to search for more info about it.

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