RE: FAO Hoora ( and others ) - Shin Splints
BOXER, IMHO YES you are setting yourself up for further problems in the long term. However in the shorter term it may well not produce any ill effect.
shin splints(a loose term now defunct in sports medicine, but will do for now to cover Medial Tibial stress syndrome, Anterior/posterior Tibial stress syndrome, Compartment syndrome, and stress fracture. You may well suffer from a combination of two or more of the above.)
Let me say that the following guidelines are based on MY experiences, and long suffering until I addressed the causes and not the symptoms.
It is most certainly not an exhaustive list, nor in any particular order of importance.
1.Do not run on your heels, as this is inefficient, produces a braking effect, and sends injury creating forces through your legs. Run with knees bent, never land on straightened leg.Do not overstride.Increase the cadence instead.
Instead learn to run ball heel ball, just like the elite athletes who can clock up 70 -120 miles per week without injury.
RELEARN how to run if necessary and take it slowly. take a look at the Pose method.its very useful.
2.Do not run when injured. You are only exacerbating the problem.
3.Do not buy cosmetic sports shoes to run in. Buy genuine running shoes only, that are well fitting across the foot, and IT IS MY BELIEF THAT YOU SHOULD RUN IN LIGHTWEIGHT OR RACING FLATS. The reason for this is that well cushioned shoes with higher heels, do not allow the achilles tendon to be used properly as a spring in which to store and release energy. Think of a horses hock in the trot and you get the idea.
Change every 6 months or 500 miles, and dont use them for weight training if possible as it reduces their lifespan. Tired old shoes can cause injury. Just use your old shoes for weights.
4. Use specific strengthening exercises for shin muscles, as they are often very weak in comparison to calves.Muscles work together in opposing groups, a weakness in one will lead to injury. Simple.
Wall pushups and toe raises are very important. Also very good are lying prone on bed feet overhanging bed, and pulling toes into your mattress. start slowly and work up to sets of 25. you can also use special physio gear like the stretchy rubber if you like.
5.I advise you not to use heavy insoles like Sorbothane for running in. Firstly you increase the weight of the shoe on your foot which will decrease your speed. 2ndly, it will prevent your foot muscles and tendons from re-learning what they were designed for - shock absorption. As will heavy thick soled trainers.See No3.
you must allow your feet to adapt slowly to being trained. In my opinion "shock absorbing insoles" prevent this from occurring and weaknesses will become apparent later. they can be useful for comfort in daily wear though in boots etc.
6. If you can run on a grass pitch(free from glass etc !) in your barefeet. this will strengthen your foot musles. Do this slowly and build yourself up.
7. Go to your local healthfood shop, and buy Calcium Ascorbate tablets, also known as BUFFERED VIT C, OR VIT C ESTER PLUS. Holland and Barrett sell a version, as do your local healthfood shop, I use LIFEPLAN £5.99 for 90 500mg tabs. dont waste your time or money on calcium carbonate.useless.
If currently afflicted, use 3000mg a day for 2 weeks, reducing to 2000mg a day until symptoms subside. Thereafter 1500mg daily. Im afraid I cannot offer any Scientific explanation for this, except that it bloody well works!
8.If afflicted ICE, REST, MASSAGE AND STRETCH. Use ibuprofen sparingly as it masks your body trying to tell you that youre going too hard or in the wrong direction.
Stretch your soleus as well as gastrocnemus, also your shin muscles and feet.
9. Avoid a rapid increase in mileage, or if changing running surface reduce mileage and build yourself up slowly. If you run 35 miles per week on fields and trails, and switch to pavement, you will injure yourself if you maintain your mileage.
10. See your GP if you must but dont expect a sensible solution as Doctors in this country are trained to treat diseases of sloth & poor diet , not diseases of physical pursuit of excellence !! Much better to bypass directly and go straight to sports physio. who will at least not tell you to stop exercising!!!
Read as much as you can on the subject to form your own opinion, I have been studying this particular thing for over 2 and a half years, and still come across new theories every week.
www.gordonpirie.com especially his thoughts on running here