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Hi all,

I'm putting weight on (again!) due to being out of training through injury, and it's really starting to annoy me, and I can't seem to get any decent help or answers from anywhere else.

I'm 27 and probably around at 14st 5'7". I've never been a sporty person and have been overweight pretty much as long as I remember apart from a mid-teenage spell raving ever other night without sleeping or eating (ever....) and went down to about 10st before calming down and putting weight back on.

A few years back I decided to try running and after taking it easy for a couple of weeks with my more sports-disciplined girlfriend, I decided that I was finding it ok and easier to do than I'd ever felt before.

I was wearing basketball shoes at the time and found my feet were getting unbearably hot, so I bought some Adidas Climacool shoes. Within a fortnight, I could barely walk from Shinsplints. I went to my doctor who told me there was nothing I could do, I just had to stop running.

I didn't accept this so I asked to see another doctor, and they referred me to see a Podiatrist who said that I overpronate slightly and gave me some Orthotics and told me to ditch the trainers as there was next to no cushioning in them at all.

So I went to StartFitness in Newcastle and was sold a pair of Asics GT-2100.

I was told to leave off running for 6 weeks then start from the bottom again and work up slowly. So I did.

Within a week, I was starting to feel my shins again, so I stopped and waited some more.

I gave it about 2 months before starting again, and my shins were hurting in a matter of weeks. So I gave up.

2 years later, after being entered by a friend into a challenge run, I decided to try again. I started slowly and within a fortnight was running 3 miles in between 30-40mins.

Unfortunately for me, I'm an "out-of-the-bag" person. I could run a 10k tomorrow without a problem (well, shins excepted), so the whole walking and running thing doesn't work for me. I just find it incredibly frustrating having to change pace and it puts me off drastically.

I prefer to just do short runs, but I get carried away very quickly and when I first started again recently, with 3 weeks of pretty much just doing around 3 miles every other day except weekends, I pushed myself and did 10k without problem.

After a couple of rest days, I could feel my left shin, not hurting but I could feel it. Originally it was both shins equally painful, but for some reason this time it was just my left shin.

Nevertheless I eased off and went down to doing 2-3 miles every other day but gradually felt the pain in my left shin developing, so decided to stop before it got too painful.

I gave it a couple of weeks before trying a walk/run for 2 miles and when I was running along the beach, I hit a soft bit of sand and went over on my left ankle. I stopped and limped for a few feet while trying to hold the tears back like a big girl or exploding in a 30-second tirade of pure obscenities. So I limped back to the car and went home dejected.

I've been to a sports injury clinic who prescribed a frequent course of £35 massage sessions which just seemed a bit obvious to me, so I decided to try my doctor (different surgery to when I first started running) who promptly told me that there's no way in the world that I would be suffering from shin splints as only elite athletes suffer from Shin splints and that I was pretty much imagining it.

Having done as much research as I reckon I could online regarding the pain and coming to the conclusion that I have tendonitis rather than stress fractures, I understand that shin splints is really stress fractures, but is generally used as a collective term for lower leg pain which is kind of what the doctor was getting at but he still wouldn't accept that I have tendonitis.

Infuriated, I asked the surgery if I could speak with the other doctor in the practice, who immediately took interest in the fact that I was in pain and continually seem to be unable to run without developing injuries and not only wanted to sort out the pain, but wants to find out the cause of the pain, so referred me to a muscular-skeleto clinic. I missed the appointment due to work, but have another appointment coming up, so we'll see what happens.

I guess what I'm working towards is getting some sports massage on the affected shin area and maybe some physio on my left ankle as it still hurts after about 3 months.

What I want to know is if any of you lot can help. I'm guessing out of all of you a good few will have had shinsplints and hopefully the majority of you will have come through them somehow...

Bestow upon me your knowledge and help me to run for more than a month so I can get into it and lose my gut and manboobs please!

If you've got to this point then thank you very much for reading all that and I hope I haven't wasted your time.

Thank you

K
 

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Hellooo again Kristian... I've not long ago posted in your welcoming thread :)

Sounds like you've had gait analysis... so your trainers should be ideal for your style of running - but I notice you mentioned you turned your ankle running on the sand? do you regularly run on sand?

Whilst it's great for shock absorbtion, I find that if I run on a surface that soft, my whole lower legs have to stay tense in order to stabalise itself whilst running on such loose and unpredictable ground.

If you can, try and find some strengthening exercises, things like writing out the alphabet with your toes in the air (by flexing the ankle rather than moving the whole leg). Personally I use shin splints as a term to describe pain running along the shin bone - regardless of whether it's a fracture or not.

It's good to hear you've found a doc that is keen to find you a solution, rather than one that just dispells your concerns - I'm sure you'll get around it one day, just bare in mind that the bones, joints & ligaments/tendons take longer to adapt to the stresses & strains of running than the muscles and cardio system does!
 

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Hey thanks for replying.

When I went to get my trainers the guy had a look at my feet and said that I overpronate slightly, and that's about as far as it went, but if that's gait analysis then yeah.

I have heard of people having their stride analysed on treadmills etc and given proper shoes, but I don't know of anywhere up here that does that.

I was told that running on the road was too hard for my shins obviously maximising impact. I live in the middle of nowhere so there isn't really any flat grassland that I can run on, let alone have an interesting run.

I took to running on the beach coz I have a beautiful long beach 10mins from my house which is particularly wide and flat which I was finding ideal until I hit the soft bit which hurt like hell. I tend to stick to the firm wet stuff too rather than run on the soft stuff.

The pain has pretty much gone from my shins now and while my ankle doesn't hurt, if I twist it about I can certainly feel where it was hurt. I'm desperate to make the most of the remaining lighter evenings while I still can before I'm relegated to having to use a gym and treadmill. The roads around here are pitch black without lighting around here so road running through winter simply isn't an option.
 

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the wet sand should be suitable... but as you've experienced, just be weary of the softer stuff ;)

Glad to hear the pain is subsiding... but getting hold of a good few stretches for the affected area will certainly help prevent it happening again :)
 

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hi Kristian

I have no advice but read your story and admire you for your determination. Keep at it and good luck. I really hope you find a solution.

:)
 

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Hi

Shin splints and most other conditions associated with running are due to instability and misalignments of bones in the foot and ankle. It seems that you have problems with your tibiotalar joint, which will limit your foots ability to dorsiflex, causing you recurrent pain. You explained that you were slightly pronated in one foot, which is probably due to a weak posterior tibialis, which again is due to the misalignments. The posterior tibialis muscle inserts on the navicula and its job is to hold your arch up, providing schoch absorption for the rest of the body.This is also normally the cause of posterior shinsplints. Adjusting the foot realigning these joints, together with some taping support, will resolve the problems you are experiencing.

Anterior shinsplints on the other hand arise because of a muscle imbalance between the anterior tibialis ant the gastrocnemius (calf). A strenght ratio at 10:30 is normal, with the calf muscle being the strongest. When this relationship exceed (>10:40), the stress on the anterior tibialis attatchment gets to high, creating shinsplints. (shinsplints are not stress fractures...) By getting this relationship back to normal, by strenghtning the anterior tibilais, will resolve this problem. (Can almost only be trained using therabands on top of foot, will explain this in more detail if needed).

Hope this was helpfull for you.

Dr Jensen
Sports Chiropractor
 

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Anterior shinsplints on the other hand arise because of a muscle imbalance between the anterior tibialis ant the gastrocnemius (calf). A strenght ratio at 10:30 is normal, with the calf muscle being the strongest. When this relationship exceed (>10:40), the stress on the anterior tibialis attatchment gets to high, creating shinsplints. (shinsplints are not stress fractures...) By getting this relationship back to normal, by strenghtning the anterior tibilais, will resolve this problem. (Can almost only be trained using therabands on top of foot, will explain this in more detail if needed).

Hope this was helpfull for you.

Dr Jensen
Sports Chiropractor
oooo interesting stuff...

is there any way of measuring this ratio?
is theraband that latex type stretchy stuff?
 

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I had an injury a few years ago, not shin splints but something with a similar cause. Then, when I started running, I found I was getting the beginnings of shin splints right from the start (I was expecting as much, as I knew I had very tight and strong calf muscles). I found that switching to running mainly on grass/mud (and treadmills), combined with lots of calf stretches and toe-pull exercises (without a theraband in my case but that would have been my next step if they hadn't worked without) stopped the problem.

I'm not so much trying to give you advice (you've already had far better than I can give!) but rather, encouragement that it's worth doing this stuff as it really does make a difference.
 

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Hi guys,
Don't want to keep harping on :d

But why do we never consider how we are running when we feel pain, especially when it comes back so soon after a good period of rest. Massage and Fizz is absoloutely fine, but it is curing a current injury not preventing it. Shin pain is because you land hard with your ankle ahead of your knee joint. Everyone can make adjustments so that you don't overstride. It will cure your pain.

Running on wet sand should be absolotely fine. While you have shin pain, avoid concrete etc. When you run try and think about lifting your feet upwards (not pushing backwards) and avoid striding out in front.

I absoloutely believe everyone can run without pain no matter for their weight. I would argue very strongly with any professional who says "running is not for you", because what they actually mean is "running the way you do right now will hurt you".
 

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Interesting view JonP, and one I am inclined towards. All my pain and injury were/are due to overuse. By changing the way and spead I progressed I have very little trouble now.
 

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Hrun, I was the same as you and now I have no pain and very quick recovery (I changed how I ran). Your right, the speed of progression (pace or distance) needs to be tempered. Your muscles, ligaments, bones take time to adapt to extra stress so you have to run within yourself to help this when you are first starting out running. As your cardio fitness develops much more quickly initially it is easy to get carried away with the stop watch.

Overuse injury is a strange name. Overuse implies using too much, and while this is true to a degree, our bodies *if used correctly* do not get overused over prolonged periods. For example ITBS is a classic "overuse" injury. But why does it occur? It is not simply that you have done too much, it is a case that you are putting your foot in a position that is stopping (braking) your forward movement. Whenever any body part is stopping your movement then you risk injury because your are twisting\stretching and adding *extra tension* to joints that were not designed to work in this way.

Inflexibility, muscle inbalance play there part in strains, pulls etc. But the major overuse injuries:

Runner knee
ITB syndrome
Achilles tendonitis
Plantar fasciitis
Shin splints

Are all caused by putting our limbs in a position that stops movement and contradicts the proper function of our joints. If you get achilles pain your are "pushing off really hard". Contrary to popular belief you do not need to push off (push your foot back against the floor) to run. You calf and associated attachments are designed (by evolution and nature) to contract eccentrically as we take bodyweight and release stored energy (known as stretch shortening or simply muscle elasticity).

We have to work our body correctly, and that means pulling our feet quickly up off the ground as we run instead of pushing them backwards and then swinging them way in front of our bodies.
 

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Great post Jonp.

I have always run with quite a short stride IMO which I think stands me in good stead. Where I have an advantage is that at 6'2" my short stride still covers a lot of ground. Once I get going I feel like I can run forever :)

This morning I was still running strong at mile 11, eventually fatigue catches up but I have learnt to stop before injury. As time passes that fatigue point gets later and the run gets easier.
 

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beasty 1711

Theraband is the "latex type stretchy stuff".

You can get different thicknesses for more resistance.

Tie it in a loop to a fixed point - put your foot inside the loop, dorsiflex (bring foot towards you) the foot against resitance. Do this to strenghten the ant. tibialis.

To measure the relationship will be difficult, and the ratio given is more for explanatory purposes.

We have great results with this exercise in my clinic, but remeber that this is for anterior tibialis shinsplints. For posterior tibialis shinsplints the protocol is different.
 
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