Need to get going again!

Having been stuck down with bad calf pain and shin splints, I haven't run for a week now. I've done plenty of walking, Strength and Flex and calf stretching exercises to keep in the game as it were, and I've been using Voltarol gel on my shins which has helped. Last Thursday morning it was painful to walk, and today I walked with my friend and her dog for about an hour and while it still ached, it didn't hurt as such. Tomorrow I'm working and then Friday... Is the first day I'm even considering going for a trot around the park. No Laura, or MapmyRun, just some music and I will stop if the pain starts.

I suppose my question is... Should I even do this, if it still hurts in the slightest? I have definitely learnt my lesson doing too much too soon, and I need to do the right thing so should I stay on the couch until the pain has completely gone? :-(


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18 Replies

  • No. Sometimes it's possible to "run it off". A gentle run just to see how it goes.

    This running lark does give us niggly aches as our skeletons get used to supporting our running. Things will improve as you get fitter and stronger. Doing other exercise, including your walking, all helps.

    Enjoy your run. I hope all goes well. I think if you're relaxed and happy that's a good start. I think anxiety can make things worse as you get all tense

  • Hey Allie, I must have complained to at least a million people about my shins and calves this week!!! I feel your pain. I'm seeing a physio now because of the shin splints. Here's what she said (and its working so defo worth considering):

    Lean forward against a wall with one leg in front of other in parallel to stretch each calf for 30 secs. Mine are sooo tight, that's what's making the shins worse.

    Sit on a chair with knees at 90 degrees and tap toes for 2 minutes (really simple and exercises shins).

    Stand on a step (facing down the stairs) with half your foot hanging off the end. Bend and flex them for 30 seconds. Do the same with knees at 45 degrees. Rest for a minute and repeat twice more.

    Use a foam roller on calves if you have one.

    Ice on shins for 10 minutes after exercises.

    Do all the above twice a day.

    Worse one....absolultey no exercise for 2 weeks, only the ones given above. Only then start running very very slowly, little and often if you feel no pain.

    I'm 10 days in and its frustrating the hell out of me!!! I was taking a week to recover from runs each time and the minute I started again the shins just hurt. You must rest, even from the long walks. I thought I could run through it but I couldn't and wasn't improving my run times, pace or distance. I gave in in the end and saw a professional. I've had sports massage on the shins, ultrasound treatment and KT tape on this week. Next week I'm having massage on calves and acupuncture. If you're diagnosed with shin splints it is easy to recover from but you have to be patient and follow the advice. Its just not worth suffering through.

    I'm miserable as sin by the way and have scoffed my way through the biscuit tin out of sheer frustration and boredom, but I am improving and the end is in sight.

    Chin up. Hope the guidance helps. :-)

  • Thanks for posting this. I have been going ojt of my mind with the frustration of ankle/ calf pain. I too left it a week then tried to tun. I still have pain but it eases while running. I did a very slow run walk yesterday and it doesn't feel too bad today. If it is still hurting it's unlikely you can run it off and unfortunately I think I too may need to see aphysio I just don't like to admit defeat.

    Hope you are both on thw way back off the dreadful injury couch that seems much worse than the original couch ;-)

  • So sorry to hear your still suffering, GF. Definitely go see a physio, preferably one with an interest in running (your local running club may be able to recommend someone). It was the best money I ever spent when I had knee trouble, not just because he cured the knee pain but also because he taught me how to prevent it recurring. It's not admitting defeat, it's more like taking your car in for maintenance. Go for it m'dear, you won't regret it :)

  • Yes I definitely agree with this EM.

    We need a cure but also to learn how to prevent it happening again . Fab post !

    I think we should have a special thread for those on the Injury Couch where we can all offer support, advice and have a right good old whinge ! :-D xxx

    PS Hope you managed to get some sleep last night and that youre feeling a bit better today, thank you so much for your support Mum, youre a star ! :-) xxx

  • I thought the same thing about a specific thread for the IC as there are lots of us on the bench

  • Hi Pops completely fab idea to have an injury couch thread, genius actually. Did you know you were a genius, Sweetie? :D

    Heggers' physio's' advice on shin splints is fab and should be read by everyone. I reckon we've all had a brush with shin pain at some point -actually mine was half way up a mountain in Wales before I started running and what a nightmare it was too. :(

    I'm feeling much happier today. Had a decent sleep and A BATH. Shuffled upstairs on me backside and hubby dropped me into the bath like a sack of spuds. Wonderful! :) :) :)

    Hope you're hips are behaving today. Any news on an appointment with running doc? If your x-Ray didn't show any arthritis, then you definitely need an MRI to check out the labrum (hark at me, and me *expert* hip knowledge.)

    And thank you for being the lovely supportive person you are. This place wouldn't be the same without you xxx

  • Aw bless you , thankyou so much, youre very kind EM xxxx

    Oh I bet it was luvvly to get in the bath, I had to laugh when I think of your hubby dropping you in like a sack of spuds ha ha .Charming ! :-D

    I am so glad you are feeling better today, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and its not another train coming !

    My hip pain has now become a hip and right bum cheek pain , so yes it is official , I am a proper pain in the arse tee hee .

    I have not heard a jot from the doc, I rang them yesterday and I am not getting a letter now because my X Rays are normal . I am going to see what the physio says and make my mind up from there . I want the quickest and cheapest option there is , but not sure what that is if you see what I mean . Are you confused yet ?

    Anyway , enjoy your day on the couch , best place to be today as it is positively lashing it down here dahling in leafy Cheshire

    Take care and keep taking the tablets :-) xxx

  • I'm always confused, m'dear xxx ;)

  • Will do EpicMum. I've got to follow your advice

  • Haha :D GF, as the Injury Couch's most frequent visitor, I feel I have assumed the right to be a bossy old trout Lol :D

  • This is such good advice Heggers that it aught to be a pinned post. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Thanks all! They still hurt in the mornings, looking down a staircase that I have to walk down is still a bit daunting! Yes, my feeling is that I should leave it for at least another few days and Heggers there's a couple of things I haven't tried there. Still walking a lot though and am doing my best to avoid the biscuit tin!

  • I also read one for the ankle where you sit on a chair with your leg out in front and draw 5 letters of the alphabet with your toes. It is a non weighted exercise so is kind to your muscles. Aim is to do the alphabet by the end of the day. I'm going to get some funny looks at work, suited and booted drawing letters in the air ;-)

  • Oh Allie, Heggers and G xxx No advice to give really just to say that I totally get what you're saying and although it is sooooo frustrating at the moment , we will come through this , all of us .

    Keep your chin up xxx

  • Try Movelat, together with rest. Fingers crossed you will be "up and running" again soon!

  • Definitely no exercise until it's gone, if it's proper shin splints it's not a niggly ache it's screaming agony and you can't run it off or run through it, I could barely walk. I never want to feel that pain again! I have a herniated disc that "slips" periodically, shin splints was comparable to that.

  • Ooh CG it was proper agony. I think the best description I could come up with was that it felt like someone was pushing a knitting needle up my shins into the bone and that every step pushed it up a bit further! I worried for a day or two that I might have stress fractures, but after much asking around and research it's "just" classic medial shin splints; too much running too soon on legs that weren't used to it, on Tarmac.

    I have always had tight calves, I remember them hurting at school when I did any running. I was great at chucking things (javelins, discus, boys etc) but always tried to avoid running because my legs would always ache. Cliff walks in Cornwall with all the steps left me trailing- not because I was unfit but because my calves felt like they were on fire!

    Anyway, am doing exercises regularly (thanks to Heggers and the physio I cornered at work) and resting and icing and all the right things. I am NOT running until next Wednesday when I shall venture out with extreme caution! and on Hove Lawns, not Tarmac!

    Thanks for all the support and advice everyone; what a Godsend this forum is. Hopefully soon I will be able to crack the last 2 weeks xxxxxx

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