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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Advice sought about shin splints caused by running

Hi Gary,
I am 17 and was wondering if you could help me. I am an athlete, i run 400m and 800m and have competed internationally twice. Over the past year i have been experiencing pain on and off on the inner side of my left shin. I have been told it is shinsplints and that it is not too serious yet i cant get rid of it permanently. I get it treated whenever it hurts which allows me to resume training for a while(few weeks or so), but it always returns eventually. I would really appreciate it if you could offer some of your expertise on treating/preventing this injury.

Photo: Drills like stepping and bounding up a grassy slope strengthen the legs and hone the reflexes for efficient running
Gary Moller comments:

what you might have is a weak tibialis posterior muscle. Please go to my website and read this.
You should also look at purchasing a pair of Formthotics Active which will give your foot the support it needs during training and competition.
I also recommend that you get a weekly deep tissue massage on all of your leg muscles.
Most sporting injuries are coaching issues: Not medical problems
Finbar, remember that you are only 17 and you must give your body time to grow and mature. You do not hit your running peak until you are 28 or so years. Excessive training and injuries suffered now will shorten and limit your athletic career. Few junior champions ever succeed as seniors for reasons of chronic injury, ill health and mental burnout.

So, cruise your way through the junior years, concentrate on skills rather than effort. Eat well and get plenty of rest. Concentrate on good grades at school with your sport second and be careful not to be pressured into short-sighted training and competition by others like over-ambitious coaches and sports officials. Once you are in your 20's you can then decide how far you want to go knowing that you have the strength, vitality, the skills and the emotional maturity to handle the punishment and the pressures.

A good running resource is the Lydiard Foundation
No injuries and concentrate on skill development. School grades come first.

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