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Discussion: shin stuff

in: mdryak; mdryak > 2016-04-20

Apr 21, 2016 5:36 PM # 
Coach asked me to share what the PT told me about shin splints. Granted, it was specific to what she found when they evaluated me for weaknesses (apparently related to an old ankle sprain and then a sudden increase in pavement pounding with a backpack on my back), but it may still be useful. The PT gave me instructions to stretch my calves, plus a theraband and ankle strengthening exercises, and toe raises on the stairs. Did some icing, no drugs, though. I tried to find relevant YouTube videos, easier than describing in words.

Here's a good video of the calf stretches, although I didn't get the dynamic instructions and my PT had me rotate my pelvis like I was tucking my butt in.

Here's a good video for the ankle exercises: I also did the band work laterally and tied off to a chair in table in front of me and pulling my toes back. shows the other variations. And while I can't find the video of it, there's also a version that has you do this with the band around just your big toe, and then just your other 4 toes. Just moving the toes, ankle static for this one.

I also found these stretches while I was searching. The PT didn't prescribe them, but I've kind of worked them into my routine now that I'm more of a forefoot runner.

From my AP notes in 2009, looks like I stopped running for 2 weeks and then got back into it. And somewhat humorously, apparently the PT also suggested that at my age (then 35), hormonal changes could inhibit clearing the lactic acid from my body. She recommended hot tub / hot baths to help.
Apr 21, 2016 5:44 PM # 
Oh wow! Thanks so much for the exercises, I had had a few in mind, but nothing concrete. I will have a look at the videos and definitely do some theraband work and the other suggested exercises. Excitingly, I have finally gotten through to the university physio and should be going this week.
Apr 21, 2016 6:48 PM # 
Thanks Tori.
Interesting that you have exercises that strengthen front and back of the calves, probably a good idea to maintain balance.
My shins were a bit sore after some hard runs recently, is this contagious?
Apr 21, 2016 8:38 PM # 
My everything was sore after last weekend, and I don't suspect it will get any better this weekend!

I think if there is one concept I have come to embrace from the PTs I've seen (shins, shoulder, abs, hips), it's to look at something opposite of what hurts to find relief. I tend to be guilty of overuse, so I find my imbalances fairly quickly. Strangest one I'm playing with right now is realizing that stretching my groin muscles releases the tension at the top of my hip and psoas. Haven't been in to get that one assessed yet, but glad to have found some relief.

Mariama, good luck with your physio visit. So good to have that available.
Apr 22, 2016 11:39 AM # 
Went to physio today and he gave me some really good stretches/instructions, including:
-lower leg balanced on top of opposite knee, turn foot out and pull with hand down (I get what this means even though it doesn't translate well to words)
-regular wall lunge stretches
-kneel on ground (balanced on toes) and lean back

Found that my lower inside shin muscles were most tender with the pain distributed throughout true lower leg (good sign that it isn't yet a stress fracture)

Suggested that I lower my running volume (50%) and don't run any hills for at least two weeks. He kinesio-taped along the stressed muscle and showed me how I could do it myself as well.
- - -
I will do the suggested stretches above too
Apr 22, 2016 3:09 PM # 
Oooh, taping. Haven't tried that yet - I'll be interested to hear what you think! Glad it's on the muscular side rather than the bone.

Stress fractures, eesh. Glad you don't have one! Funny story - I got cornered by both my unit's doc AND the surgeon (guess the doc didn't think he had enough rank to get me to listen?) when they found a stress fracture looking into some PF-like issues I was having. They told me no exercise for 6 weeks. I negotiated for swimming and cycling. I told them there was no way my cycling had resulted in a stress fracture, given there wasn't really much "stress" involved. But I was totally mystified how they found a stress fracture because I'd hardly run for several months.

It wasn't until week later that I realized the location they mentioned was exactly where I'd dropped a marble rolling pin on the top of my foot! Turns out the muscle pain was a result of poor positioning of the cleats in my cycling shoes and my hip/psoas issues. And I am now much more careful to put the rolling pin back on its cradle when making pizza.

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