About three years ago I joined a gym for the first time ever. I would just do a little bit of running on the treadmill, I used to try and run for 1km which would near on kill me. However periodically I would suffer from horrendous pain in my shins. I could never explain what the pain was – I could move my foot and leg about quite happily and even run on it, but I couldn’t bear to touch my shin because it was so painful. As in – having trousers touch my shin would hurt. I would constantly check my shin, convinced that there was a massive bruise there but there was never a sign of one.
I couldn’t work out what it was. I asked someone who apparently knew what they were talking about if it could be shin splints but they scoffed and said it couldn’t possibly be that. Me being the fool I am I believed them.
Fast forward to nowadays and the pain has made a bit of a comeback. I’ll go running and not have any problems, but a few hours later a familiar pain will appear – only ever in my left leg.
I’ve learned every stretch in the book and do them daily to strengthen my muscles.
I bought new trainers going to a lovely man who knew what he was talking about.
Two weeks ago I was struck down by another bout of this pain. I asked around and someone sent me a link.
It’s shin splints.
But whilst I was reading the website and nodding vigorously at all the points and going “Yes! That’s like me!”, I was feeling down the front of my leg and was kind of horrified to discover a very large lump half way down my left shin. Now I’m no medical expert but I’m pretty sure that lumps on your leg are not a good thing.
I spoke to a colleague who runs marathons and she said she was familiar with my problem and that she’d ended up having physio on it. I asked about running through it – the strategy I had been adopting – and she said it probably wasn’t a good idea because she’d done that and had developed a stress fracture.
I placed a call to Hull Physio Direct and spoke to a very nice man who said that it sounded like a biomechanics problem. The shin splints is being caused by the way in which I run, which is why it’s a problem that keeps reoccurring and isn’t getting better the fitter I get.
So basically I run weird. (Cue paranoid thoughts. My god maybe I do run like Phoebe from Friends!)
No. More. Running.
At least, no more running until I’ve been seen by a physiotherapist and a podiatrist to assess whether it is a biomechanics problem or not. If it is, it should be fairly easily sorted with some orthotics, inserts I can wear in my shoe/shoes to correct whatever it is I’m doing. But if it is a biomechanics problem, running on it before I’ve seen them will just cause the damage to happen again. The lump is most likely swelling or is a thickening of the tissue which has occurred because of overuse.
So I’m on a strict regime of icing and ibuprofen (which is working, the lump is definitely getting smaller thank goodness).
I am not a happy bunny. Just when I’d really gotten in to running. Just when I’ve got to a point in my life where I’m enjoying my body and I feel like it’s letting me down. I’m so incredibly frustrated and maddened by the whole thing I can’t explain it. And the worst of it is that I’ve no idea when I’ll be able to see a physiotherapist – hopefully it will be no more than 3 weeks but I’m at the mercy of a waiting list.
I would love to go and see one privately but can’t afford it so that’s out. In the meantime I’m still allowed to do things that don’t irritate it – Zumba is still ok so that’s allowed and I’ve booked myself into an extra Spinning class so that I can try and keep my cardio activity up. I know that swimming is another option but I don't have a swimming costume that fits me (my wardrobe still mainly consists of clothes that are too big for me and require belting up and tucking in) and as my gym doesn't have a pool, it would be an extra cost for me to go to a swimming pool.
There’s no way I’m not running the Race for Life (which is now 7 weeks away), whether I’m allowed to or not, I’ve trained for it and I’ll be doing it. Shin splints won’t make my leg fall off, it’ll just make it hurt and I can handle that.
My advice to you would be to not run past me – when people jog past me at the moment, my eyes narrow into jealous little slits and unpleasant thoughts of ‘accidental’ tripping cross my mind. It’s not pretty.
And on another note - I seem to be having serious issues commenting on people's blogs at the moment, is anyone else having this problem? I go to comment and when I hit edit it wants me to put my log-in and password in, so I do that and then I return to the comment and hit enter and it wants me to put my log-in and password in ad infinitum. Ring any bells with anyone else?
So I'm sorry I haven't disappeared I am still reading and desperately trying to comment!!
Edited: Aha! Just after I wrote this I found the answer to all my problems from TopChelseaGirl - untick the 'Keep me signed in' box and that rectifies the problem. Hurrah!