What's up with my leg? (Read 798 times)


    Hello everyone; I am new to "Running Ahead" so I hope you all don't think this is weird! Blush But anyway here we go. I have always wanted to be a runner. I recently started a program I read about in Self magazine whereby I am supposedly going to be able to run for 30 mins straight in a matter of about 8-10 weeks. It is based on intervals, like walk 5 min, run 2 mins, repeat. that is "week one." Herein lies the problem: I am still stuck in week one, not because of my endurance, but because of my darn leg. I get this uncomfortable pain in my right shin (only the right one) I think they call it "shin splints", despite any streching or warm up I do before I run. I feel like I can really keep going, but sometimes my leg hurts so much that I worry I may injure myself or something. Does anyone relate to this? How long can I expect this to last? What can I do? Any help you can offer would be appreciated!
      I can relate! I'm not a beginner beginner, but still a beginner in the world of running. I get shin splints, too. On www.runnersworld.com under "Injury" there is some information on shin splints. Basically, they are a muscular thing so the more warmed up you can be, the usually get better into the run and then fade because the muscle is all warmed up. After you cool down, though, they hurt again. Running through the pain will probably lead to this phase where it doesn't hurt, but be carefu because too much running can transfer the shock to the bone and cause a stress fracture. A lot of runners get them, especially when not used to running the mileage, and it seems like after a while they don't happen because you're body is used to the pounding. My guess is every time you walk, you're body cools down so you never get past the pain...but that doesn't mean you should just keep running despite the pain just to see if it gets better. My doctor gave me a serious of stretches for the calf, like lunging against a walkk with a straight back leg and bent forward leg, and then bending the back leg for another calf stretch. Also, strengthening exercises like "thumpers," where you sit down and tap your toes up and down, or calf raises (if these are easy you can do one leg at a time) might help. Basically Ibuprofen, ice, massage and stretching (which sounds like you've been doing) is what heals them. Cross training on an elliptical usually doesn't hurt for me, so you might want to try that. Last thoughts: some people get shin splints not only because of "too much too soon," but because of the way they are built. A lot of specialty shoe stores can fit you for the correct running show if you haven't done this already. You might need stability if you overpronate. As far as it lasting, usually cross training/reducing mileage a couple of weeks will do the trick but gradually increase after that so they don't return again. Wow, sorry about all the info but I hope this all helps, and check out the website it's great. Let me know how everything goes and I wish you the best. Welcome to RA Smile
      Kate ;) "The pain of regret is greater than the pain of self discipline."

      CPT Curmudgeon

        Toe raises. They helped for me way back when. It will strengthen the muscles and connective tissues. I did my at the weight room. Sat on the edge of the machine, with the padded bar across my knees, and my toes on a board, with my heels hanging lower than my toes. Then just lift all the way up, and lower all the way done. You don't need a weight room, though, you could do them on a stair or something.
          My husband has been battling shin splints for the past 6 months or so. His were caused by the wrong shoes. He bought a new pair of shoes. Loved the shoes but the shin splints started shortly after he started running in them. He's take some time off, start running again and the pain would come back. Tried the exercises and the helped a bit but the pain was still there. We visited a good running specialty store while out of town and they determined that he was a mild pronater but the shoes he'd been running in were for a serious over-pronater. Changed shoes and the pain went away. We talked to another guy who bought his running shoes from the same place we originally bought his. They told him the same thing -- that he had a severe pronation problem, but he didn't really. He tried to run through the pain and ended up with a spiral fracture that his sports medicine doctor's felt could be related to the shoes. Dh also found that his shin splints were related to arch support. Adding inserts to his shoes also helped. Lond winded way of saying make sure you have the right shoes. Wink Teresa
            Shin splints are not necessarily a muscular thing. They can be a precursor to stress fractures of the bones themselves. So treat them seriously. The "Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science: Running" says: The diagnosis of stress fracture is quite simple: a) The injury is of quite sudden onset and there is no history of external violence. An injury that prevents running is almost always a stress fracture b) the runner will fund that standing on one leg may be painful, if not impossible (fracture of the pelvis). Alternatively, hopping on the injured led is almost always painful in the other fractures. The site of pain corresponds to the site of the fracture. c) Extreme tenderness, localized to the bone, is felt when the injured site is pressed with the fingertips. d) The injury heals itself completely within 3 months of complete reset. It also says that it if you have a vague discomort it can eventually become a stress fracture. So rest! The most important thing is to slowly add volume and intensity. It is possible that your bones take much longer to build up compared to your cardiovascular system and muscles. My own personal experience: I have always had a shin splints problem when running on hard flat surfaces with some trainers. It depends a l lot on your gait, experience, trainers and surface you run on. I found that with hill running is best for me, since it forces me to always land very softly on my toes. I also do some slow, short easy barefoot runs on the track. However shin splints can come back with a vengeance every time I attempt a long slog on hard, flat terrain, since I am used to the much gentler pounding of the hills. Ironically, this time I got the injury from doing far too many hopping drills.