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Stress fracture VS Shin Splints

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Breakdown of the difference in Layman’s terms by a Doctor

More Facts and causes of Stress Fractures

Nutrition that reduces inflammation

Taken from a discussion board…

“This is a horns-of-dilemma injury, as shin splints can develop into tibial stress fractures – as happened to me. A doctor will tell you to rest it, then test it, if there is some certainty that it is just shin splints. The problem with that, however, is that continually “testing” it can lead to the fracture – and that’s the difference between 2-3 weeks off and 2-3 months off.

In ’00 I developed a stress fracture, but because I had run on it for a several weeks before it was properly diagnosed, I was off running for about 3 months while it healed. Three years late I clobbered that exact same site and it became a hairline fracture, but with the same symptoms. And, because I recognized them and respected them – stopped running immediately – I was only away from running for 2 months.

Shin splint discomfort will often be diffuse, spread out for a few inches along the shin. A stress fracture will usually be sensitive over a very small area, about the size of a dime. A  s.f. will also often respond to a tuning-fork test, although in my case that didn’t happen.

As grkid says, a bone scan is not usually among the first forms of diagnosis, and after resting, testing, x-rays, and the like, I was sent for a bone scan which confirmed the s.f. (It’s a very nifty procedure, especially watching the image resolve from a million points of graininess into something visibly coherent — even though the resulting image was NOT what I wanted to see!!)

Man, if you can cut to the chase and get a rock-solid diagnosis on this, that would be better than futzing around with it and maybe turning it into a s.f. HOWEVER, for every person with a s.f. there are dozens and dozens and dozens of people who “only” have shin splints, so you’ve got the numbers of your side. Good luck with it all!”

If you get up in the morning and your leg/foot feels fine, but gets worse with running or activity, it may be a stress fracture, since bone healing occurs while resting and will make a fracture feel better after laying down for 8 hours.

Shin splints will usually feel worse in the morning and warm up through the day, but will also be tender while running.

I am currently battling tenderness in my inner left shin (posterior medial tibialis)

Using ice bath, ultrasound, Traumeel cream, Ibuprofen (rarely) to bring down inflammation.  It is not getting any worse.  We will see what happens as I increase mileage.

More great Links

Overuse Injuries, Bone Strain, Stress Fracture

Pictures of Various Stress Fractures on MRI

Trouble with Foot

December 4, 2009 1 comment

I’ve been experiencing some new and exciting pain in my left arch.  Fun.  In addition, my left shin pain has worsened.  I’ve been researching the causes quite intensively and I’m pretty sure I’ve pinpointed the reasons.

1.  Training on a sloped road.  The park I run in has an almost constant slope to the road and it is a severe slope in some parts.  I try to use the dirt trail as much as possible but, when doing my tempos and speed work I tend to stay on the road.

2.  My feet.  I don’t think my feet have always been this flat, but maybe they have.  Anyway, I think my arches have fallen over time and I pronate.  Either way, my feet are pretty flat now.  I had been running with Ortho-Dymanics orthotics for most of marathon training, but started to alternate using them and not using them in an attempt to condition my feet to running without them since they add weight to my shoes.  And I don’t wear them for speed work, or races.

The orthotics I use, $59.95/pair

3.  Possibly my shoes.  I have read that “heavier” runners don’t need a super flexible shoe since their weight will flex the shoe plenty.

From what I’ve gathered in my research is that shin splints are the pre-cursor to stress fractures in the tibia (shin bone).  My pain is on the inner shin.

Understanding the calf and shin to prevent injury

Pics of arch taping

Goals to get my foot and shin healthy.  1.  Lose 10 lbs

2.  Do more low impact machine work at gym, ie. elliptical, bike, or rowing machine

3.  Strengthen shins, stretch and massage calves, foot and shin.

Ultrasound Therapy for Healing Tibial Stress Fracture Study

Posterior Tendinitis Rehab Exercises

2 Weeks and 4 Days to go…..When to do Last LONG Run? Injury Update

October 13, 2009 2 comments

People often ask me when they should be doing their last long run.  NYRR posted a good article in their Daily Tip for Monday…

THE LAST LONG RUN?

I define Long Run as 18+, so I did mine already, although I will do a 14 miler 8 days before marathon and a very easy pace.

Today I ran 2 loops of Prospect Park, a bit quicker than I ran yesterday.  Groin and foot felt better and I’m starting to wonder if running slow actually agrevates them more…Half Marathon Race they both felt great, easy run…not so great.

For todays run I actually cut a slit in my sock on my strained foot to lessen the pressure of the sock ribbing.  There is currently a 3 inch section of swollen tendon on the top of my foot and it only bothers me when something presses on it, even if only slightly.  So I had to alter my sock and took my lace down one more eyelet.

My new ultrasound wand comes tomorrow.  I have an ultrasound now, called the Exogen Bone Healer, but it has a different function than an ultrasound wand.  It is meant to be placed on one location for 20 minutes, not moved around like a wand.  It was only $120

Ultrasound portable machine

Ultrasound portable machine

Moved Thursdays Tempo workout to Wednesday to include Hindy (he work Thurs morning)…the more the merrier 🙂

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