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Injury help!

I've had shin splints for months! About 12 months to be exact. I've tried everything to sort them out.. Months of physio, i've seen biomechanics specialist, massage, acupuncture, i've had scans and ultra-sound and i've spent untold amounts of money on trainers and orthotics.. I've done all the exercises i've been give and even tried pilates. I've done a fair bit of core work and although my core isn't the best its not that bad.

The injury seems to get better then over a few weeks i'll build up distance (not speed) - running on grass/off-road - and the shin splints come back and i'm unable to run for another few weeks.

The injury is sapping all my motivation, i've struggled with motivation for a while, not because i don't enjoy swim, bike, run.. and this injury means that getting out for rides and swims is even more difficult.. I realise that this is a perfect time to improve my swim and bike but all doesn't seem worth it if i can't run, which as you can imagine is my worst discipline!

I've got to the point where i'm thinking of giving up tri to just ride TT's as i feel like my body just isn't cut out for running.. but i love tri, the lifestyle is great, the people are brilliant and i've loved every second (apart from the injury)..

I've done what Lance Armstrong did when he was diagnosed with Cancer, i've learnt everything about the injury - Posterior Shin Splints.. Most common sort.. Of course.

Has anyone else been in a similar position? Any motivational or unorthodox treatments, or exercises tips? Any free treatments or thing i can do (as you can imagine i've spent £1000s on shoes, treatments, massage etc etc)..

I would really appreciate any help.



  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Sorry about the injury.Long term injury is a true motivation Sapper.

    There is no reason why you cannot do triathlons without doing the running.Race fitness,mainly for sprint distance tris can be gained from bike and swim sessions,and just running at the race.It may not produce a fantasticlly competitive race time but you can still do triathlon none the less.

    Developing run fitness from aqua running is an option I suppose that you have tried.

    If you keep a training log then that will tell you when the shin splints kick in,so that you can train below that threshold.So keeping on running but always at a reduced level.

    Someone is bound to suggest,pose/chi/barefoot running,but that is a personal belief,and may/may not work for you.

    Best of luck with finding a solution.
  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    I'm assuming you have actually taken an extended break from running at some point to break the cycle? Like 6-12 weeks? Just because it doesnt hurt doesnt mean its gone.

    It sounds you are, like me, biomechanically challenged. All Podiatrists have different opinions. If you are a tricky case then see another for a second opinion. It costs money which is the only problem. PM me if you are located near Woking or Haslemere as I know a couple of places.

    Are your orthotics the expensive custom foot cast ones? OSI Labs / Supersport? Its taken me 10 years to get mine right enough to be able to complete a marathon. And they are still not 100% perfect so I'm trying again. 3 podiatrists and about £1k. I'm a persistent bugger.

    And to save money on massage - buy a foam roller or use the stick. It wont help with the shin splints persay, but it will keep the rest of the calves loose.

  • OranjOranj Posts: 45
    I've had shin splints for months! About 12 months to be exact.
    You have some way to go yet - I had mine for about 12 years, on and off. Initially, I became very good at drinking , but then quite a good cyclist in the interim. When I finally bit the bullet and got back to running I found all those miles on the bike had strengthened whatever it was that caused them and I don't suffer so much now. The rash of the major shoe manufacturers bringing out too-soft running shoes in the 80s probably didn't help - modern shoes seem to have much more resilient midsoles and motion control, which is, IMHO, a Good Thing if you're likely to get shin spints.

    A mate of mine had some custom orthotics made up (about £150) and they've proved excellent too.
  • When i first got the injury, i saw the physio and they told me to take 12 weeks off, so i did, i'm now at about 6 weeks this second time round. I have a foam roller and lots of different strength thera-band to do hip and ankle exercises. The orthotics were made especially for me at great expense, however they've given me lots of other problems, my knee for example. I think you're right i am biomechanically challenged, i had a lot of session with a biomechanics specialist who changed my running style, which has really helped..

    I've heard a lot of suffers have the injury for years and years, i really don't want that to be me!

    I'm a little reluctant to carry on with these expensive options, if there ultimately not going to get me any further.

    I've had my gait looked at, but just at a sports shop and i've obviously had my feet molded for the orthotics.. but are there places that can do a more professional/intensive analysis of my running style to offer me more specific advice on which shoe to buy.. (rather than "oh you need a stability shoe.. yeah but which one!)..
  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    If you have proper orthotics, IMO you shouldnt need a stability shoe - neutral all the way. And if they are properly fitting orthotics the knee pain should not be occurring. Ask to get them fixed or your money back. Or go somewhere else.

    In 10 years trying to get my orthotics right I've had just about every lower leg injury going. Initially I thought they were 'overuse' injuries, but a bit of proper investigation has shown they are down to bad fit. At the very least an attempt to resolve the current issue should push the problem area somewhere else.

    My latest podiastrist does gait analysis with a slo-mo video camera, talks you through whats wrong, which is obvious in slo-motion, and then prescribes the orthotics. She advertises in 220 and sponsors at least 1 pro. I cant recommend the services yet as I've not received the othotics but the initial consultation was far more impressive than either of the previous two I've had.
  • I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know her details, after you've had the orthotics for a little bit. I want to get my gait analyzed again by someone different! Hope you're new orthotics work for you.. Cheers
  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    PM'd you
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    As you're back to square 1 have you considered changing the way you run?

    If what you are doing now in terms of how you run hurts so much - has anyone suggested not doing that and running differently?

    You know when you go to the chippy it says on the bit that keeps the food warm "do not touch - hot" - what do we all do - touch it. Its hot so we don't do it again - it hurts.

    Are you a heal striker? Have a look into Forefoot stricking e.g. The POSE method.

    Jon.e will tell you its not for everyone (i agree), but i'm convinced it's the way forward for me, your f*cked so why not have a look?

  • hussler.hussler. Posts: 390

    99% of the population associate Shin pain with Shin splints, including myself when I first started running.

    Most of the time its your Tibialis Anterior muscle peeling away from the bone, over a period of years doing no running, the muscle builds up and attaches itself along the shin bone.....Not the most scientific explanation but one that gives the basics of what roughly happens.

    You start running and the muscle thinks "what the f8ck is going on?" with all the movement going on it, for want of a better word, peels away from the bone, causing some serious pain, when you stop it aches but then after a couple of days off it settles down. Then you run again and it does the same. So even with 8,10, 12 even a full year off running, the first time you start again it hurts.

    I just ran through the pain, used ICE and had at least 2 days off between runs. I now have zero shin pain.

    However I would never recommend or tell someone to run through pain!

    and you may actually have shin splints so ill shut up! lol
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