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#1 of 6 Old 02-16-2010, 10:37 PM - Thead Starter
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I have been doing the C25K and I'm on my 7th week. I redid a couple of weeks when I needed to.

The problem I've been having and the I was most concerned about was my shins. I have been tentatively diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my calves/shins. I'm on a massive waiting list to get into a sports medicine doc. to fully diagnose what is going on.

I'm in a really good momentum and really want to keep going on but my shins are really causing a lot of problems. About half way through the programme I started to wrap my lower shins just above my ankle with medical tape to help. And it did for a about a week.

Where I seem to be getting the most pain is through the walking part of the intervals. As the run goes on I'm in a lot of pain by the third walk. The only thing that seems to help is stopping and waiting for the pressure and pain to subside and then keep on running from there.

I don't want to stop as I am really loving getting back into running (it has been a long time). But I also don't want to really do long term damage.

Stretching is a no-go as stretching before or during makes the pain 1000 times worse. I do yoga on my off days, so I know I'm not just tight.

I'm going to try jogging the 3 min. intervals followed by a minute of standing still and see if that helps next time.

Should I pop some advil prior to running? Should I back off?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-16-2010, 11:46 PM
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You might not want to hear this, but you probably should back off, based on what I know. You could easily get into a cycle where it becomes chronic, and your long term future in running would be in serious jeopardy.

I'd say take the time now to do what many runners don't do - get the rest of your body ready to handle the stresses of running longer and longer distances. Working strictly on your hip, glute & core strength will do wonders, and non-/low-impact cardio exercises like swimming, biking, and the elliptical can that thing at a certain level until you're ready to get back to pounding the pavement.

Regardless, I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.

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#3 of 6 Old 02-17-2010, 12:39 AM
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I agree..back off a bit. Also try to make sure that your calves are stretched really well and do some ankle strengthening stuff...write the alphabet with your toes and try walking on your heels some. but def take it easy! you don't want to get hurt so bad you can't do anything!
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#4 of 6 Old 02-17-2010, 01:09 AM
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When I started running about 6 years ago, I suffered from the same thing. Mine was/is only in my left shin. First a sports med doctor prescribed a couple months of physical therapy to determine any imbalances in strength or flexibility between my left and right sides. The only thing found was that my left soleus was tight. A good stretch can be found here. The stretching helped temporarily, but my tibialis anterior still would seize up after 8 or 10 minutes of running. Also during PT, I go fitted for running shoes. Before then, I was using some cheap sneakers. After that, the sports med doc referred me to a orthopedic surgeon who agreed with my suspicion that it was exertional compartment syndrome. He put me in custom orthotics and I immediately was "cured". The first day using them, I was able to run completely pain free. He declined to do the pressure test because it wasn't something I was ready to get surgery for and the test is somewhat invasive.

I've been using that same pair of orthotics for 6 years now and they are pretty worn. Last year, I went to a podiatrist (who is actually a runner too) to get new orthotics, but they are nothing like my original ones and don't help whatsoever. However, for the past few months I've been running just fine without any orthotics. The only time I have problems in on the treadmill which I try to avoid. I make sure I stretch my soleus and gastro really well before running. I also occasionally do a fascia massage on the anterior tibialis. "The Stick" or something to that effect works perfectly for this. NEVER do this when it's fully aggravated. But it is best to do it when warmed up so the muscle is full of blood and the fascia is taut. The idea is that the fascia is what needs stretched, not the muscle.

IF this pain is exertional-only (does not occur unless you run) I think as long are you aren't having any numbness, tingling, or pain in your FOOT or TOES, you can keep running. I wouldn't run through the pain though - just up to the point before it begins. One measure is the "foot slap" - stop when you start slapping. Also, the best measure for me since mine is unilateral is to sit on the ground with my legs out in front of me then flex my feet. If my left foot won't flex as far as my right, I need to rest, stretch the soleus, and perform fascia massage.

Wow, that was long. I hope it helps you. Good luck!
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#5 of 6 Old 02-17-2010, 06:28 PM - Thead Starter
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Thank you for all the replies.

The big thing I am concerned about with stretching is how much worse that makes the pain when I start running. The stretching I have done is after walking for at least 8 minutes.

This problem started to creep up a couple of years ago and maybe 20 years ago when I was still running regularly. But a couple of years ago I cramped up badly when ever I had to walk up a hill. I tried stretching through the cramp, which just made it worse, and then through trial and error I found that I just needed to stand still for 5 minutes and then I could continue on. I have found that wearing knee high boots (for winter weather) has been the only thing that has helped the hill walking.

What puzzles me about all of this is that I have always been an avid walker/hiker. Plus I have a 12 year yoga routine that works my whole body.

I will try the stretching exercises outlined above, but I am also going to try wrapping my whole calf/shin and see if that helps my running like it has my walking.

As for slowing down, I am only running 3 times a week with at least a day in between runs. That seems slow already for me. I don't know how much slower I should go.

Again, thank you for the replies.
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#6 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 05:48 PM - Thead Starter
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An update:

 

I saw a sports medicine doctor and he thinks I have compartment syndrome.  The test for that is dreadful.  I've just had a bone scan to rule out stress fractures and if that comes back clear then I can re-start my running programme (I've stopped it now for 2 months).  He just warned me to stop running if I get tingling in my feet.

 

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