Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've got a lovely bunch of...bananas?

I have shin splints. They hurt. I've always been prone to shin splints since I started playing soccer in 6th grade. I used to get them in the beginning of the season, then they'd taper off and I'd be fine. They started about a week ago, and I've just been running through it as best I can.

I was doing some research and there are several reasons why people get shin splints. Shin splints are an "over use injury" to the leg. According to Medicine.Net, the primary culprit causing shin splints is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule. Hmm, yes, that would be me. This increase causes inflammation of the lower leg muscles, those muscles used in lifting the foot (right along the front part of your leg- your tibia). Some people also have a tendency to pronate the foot (roll it excessively inward onto the arch), which I am not sure if I do this or not. The kicker is that weak ankles help the development of shin splints. Ding, ding, ding! That would also be me, too. I have had weak ankles ever since I sprained them (several times) during soccer in high school, and continued to run and ignore the injuries (I once sprained the same ankle twice in a month- I never let it heal). I am suppose to wear these nifty ace ankle braces, but have not been doing so...shame on me.

Which leads me to this situation. I've been eating lots and lots of bananas, which is an old home remedy that seemed to help in the past. Maybe it was only psychosomatic, because it is not seeming to work at the current time. Runner's World basically says take an ibuprofin, and get over it. Well, I guess they don't really say that, but it's a very common injury and that was the vibe I was getting from their website. Once I read on a little further, I guess they did have some good tips. Bicycling is recommended, so I think I'll go with biking for a while. Icing is also helpful, which will put my ice pack from my sacroiliitis (horrible back injury from kickboxing) to good use. Stretching is a must, and I already do Yoga once a week, so that's gotta help, right? (Come to think of it, Yoga is the only fitness routine in which I haven't injured myself; maybe I'm cursed for all other sports.)

Apparently, I'm only allowed to get back to running when symptoms have generally resolved (usually about two weeks) and with several restrictions:

  • A level and soft terrain
  • Distance is limited to 50% of that tolerated preinjury
  • Intensity (pace) is similarly cut by one half
  • Over a three-six week period, a gradual increase in distance is allowed
  • Only then can a gradual increase in pace be attempted.

What? Are you kidding me? I guess I'll be back at square one. You know, I really thought that I was doing very well to not "over-do it", as my mom would say. Honestly, it will be very hard for me to adhere to these guidelines, as you can see from my previous compliance to taking it easy during an injury. I will try my hardest, but I can't promise anything. My heart (aka stubbornness) is telling me to hell with Runner's World, what do they know? I'm sticking with my bunch of bananas...that'll get me through. Right? Right.

1 comment:

K-tell said...

Sorry to hear about your shin splints! Those are no fun:( I remember filling little paper Dixie cups with water and freezing them to ice down my legs when I had them. You can tear the paper away as it melts, but still have a little "coffee cuff" to hold onto:)

Good idea about biking!! It sounds like you've been doing really well, Kami!