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Running and joint/leg pain... Advice?





ocalhoun
I'm getting ready to join the US Air Force, and that means I've got to get in better shape. I've been running, and improving my running nicely (I run a little more than a mile now), but I've run across a problem. (no pun intended) Now, almost every time I run, I get a sharp pain in both shins that runs between my ankles and the inside side of my knees. It will get worse the longer I run, and slowly get better after I stop moving altogether. The pain will continue to get worse while I walk after running, but walking before running does not produce the pain. At any time, if I push on the area just above the inside side of my ankle, the pain will come back momentarily, because of being pushed on.
I do do some stretching before and after running, but not much, and probably with improper form. Could that be the cause? Currently, I ignore the pain and run anyway, but I'm worried I might damage something.

Two questions:
1: What is it:
A) Normal: the sensation of weakness leaving the body
B) An injury waiting to happen
C) An injury that already has happened

2: What should I do about it?
A) Ignore it
B) Ignore it and reduce the amount of running until it goes away
C) See a fitness trainer
D) See a doctor
E) A combination of the above

Currently, I'm assuming the answer to both is A, but I worry that that may be an unhealthy attitude.
Anybody with medical knowledge or personal experience want to give your opinion?
Drawingguy
You might want to see a doctor, to confirm this, but I think you have shinsplints. It's so common for people to start any sort of high-impact exercise (with regard to the legs), and develop this- basically, shinsplints is a condition where the relatively new stress creates a series of microfractures along the length of the shin.

The only thing I'm wondering about is the placement- you said it was from the inside of the shins, until the ankles. It seems like an odd place to have it...when I had shinsplints, which I got when I first started playing basketball and running, it was along the front, and to an extent, the inside of my leg, but I don't think it went all the way to my ankles. But I mean, it's not a good feeling; when I didn't know that it was actually something serious, and kept playing/running, you should have seen me afterwards- I would come home, lie on my back, and just clutch my legs, because it hurt so much.
ocalhoun
^Ew, that bad then?

If that's what I've got, I'm in trouble: I need to be running 1.5 miles in 2 weeks, rather than the 1.1 I can do now.
benjmd
Definitely sounds like shinsplints. What this is is a tearing of the muscles in your lower legs away from the bone due to over use. This causes little bleeds in the area that further irritate the nerves and cause pain. A gradually increasing exercise program with appropriate rest between workouts and appropriately stretching helps to prevent this. However, now that you have developed it, the only way to heal is to rest these muscles. I would suggest going to a doctor to get an official diagnosis to justify decreased training exercise over the next few weeks.
TBSC
Yes efa's like fish oil couldn't hurt, they help with inflammation. Rest as much as you can until it is healed before you run again.
tijn01
I am a physio mate, and what you've got is called shinsplints, mainly caused by overuse, especially in combination with poor footwear, hard underground etc. Best treatment consists of combination of rest, anti inflammatory medication, icing and possible some gentle massage. Slow return to aggravating activities, such as running.
woundedhealer
The term shin slints covers several different medical terms, you need to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. You need to make sure you're warming up and cooling down properly and also that you're not doing too much too quickly. Your muscles need to be built up steadily.

As you're joining the US air force you need to get this sorted. You could always join a gym and let a personal trainer sort out a training program for you.

In the meantime I would say go easy on the running and find another form of excercise. With your future ahead of you, you need to find out what's going on.
Drawingguy
Yeah, so have things continued? Or were we all wrong? If you take it slowly, you'll be fine, but I don't know how things would work if you have to do that run in such a short time.
woundedhealer
ocalhoun, you asked what you should do, we gave our advise, it would be nice, not to say polite, to let us know how you're getting on. Besides which, I'm plain nosey. Wink
king_hit
Shinsplints is definantly the cause....but don't waste the time and the money in heading to a doctor when you already know the prognosis...instead [as much as i hate to recommend this] get yourself some anti-inflammatories and rest up good.

99% of all injuries are made worse by repetitively reusing the injured joint under mximum stress load..


ALSO

Look at getting a decent pair of running shoes that supports the arch...sometimes crappy joggers don't support the arches of your feet causing you to almost run flat footed.

Get well soon
King Hit
Deuxansenchine
Hehe he's running more than a mile for the army!! I taught in the army it was all very strong dudes.

I'm about to do the Beijing Marathon next month, I did few long runs these days to get ready for it. Last sunday, I went up to 24k. after 16k I tought I would die!! I wish I am not increasing the distance to quickly, because if my knees don't follow, I have a big problem for the 42k!!

Does anybody know what to eat on the big day?? because the last long run I did, I was really missing something. Suffering like hell. Maybe there is a kind of food that is better to eat. Half way, i drank gatorade, but still not so efficient...

Maybe somebody knows, Thanks guys

Sorry Ocalhoun, no offense. So many ppl are not even able to run a mile. Go gradually or try to run in the grass to lower the impact
deanhills
king_hit wrote:
Shinsplints is definantly the cause....but don't waste the time and the money in heading to a doctor when you already know the prognosis...instead [as much as i hate to recommend this] get yourself some anti-inflammatories and rest up good.

99% of all injuries are made worse by repetitively reusing the injured joint under mximum stress load..


ALSO

Look at getting a decent pair of running shoes that supports the arch...sometimes crappy joggers don't support the arches of your feet causing you to almost run flat footed.

Get well soon
King Hit


Excellent advice. I am recovering after a year of chronic achilles tendonitis. The thing is, I only discovered I had achilles tendonitis when I went to Vancouver Canada to find out what was going on. Until then I had thought I had some strange inflammation of the ankles. It was a long process to discover what worked for me, but in summary I would say: take anti-inflammatories - Cataflam 50 worked quite well for me. See a good foot doctor who can get you orthotics to support the arches of your feet. He can also help you to get the right running shoes and suggest specific exercises. Rest the muscles, and use ice gel packs (available at chemists). At end of day take gel packs out of the freezer, put them on plastic on a couch, and cover them with a towel (so as not to get burnt by the ice packs), and then just position the aggravated part on top of it. Get therapeutic massages, as it is totally amazing how ALL of the muscles in the body work together, and how for example loosening up tight muscles in the upper legs and butt, could help with the lower legs, calves and ankles right into the toes Smile .
ChiroRecruiter
Another good idea for most people Especially for runners is to find a Doctor of Chiropractic that fits patients for orthotics. Orthotics are functional arch supports & it is imperative to have them custom made for each person NOT an off the shelf version. What the Dr will do is either scan your feet on a special device or take an impression cast. The data/cast is then sent to the company - I like footlevelers - and they measure the depth (or lack of) the 3 arches in the foot & produce a support that brings the arches back to the lower end of normal for your age, height & weight. I love mine & wear them every day - they slip in my sneakers & I have a pair for my dress shoes as well. Good luck!
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