Friday, March 15, 2013

Notes From The Foot Whisperer - The Wrath of Injuries

Hi all! It’s starting to sound like a broken record. But it seems yours truly is fighting through an injury…..again! I made one of those mistakes that seem to haunt us all. I decided to ramp up my mileage and tempo runs faster than my body could handle. With a pulled sacroiliac as the result. It has been a tough recovery watching all of my friends increasing their mileage, while I am basically hiking and stretching. But injuries happen.

And Spring is almost here! At least that is what the calendar says. The robins are back, albeit a little cold and upset that they can’t find worms in frozen soil. The track teams are sweeping the snow off their tracks in preparation of a new season. And I can start to see some red buds on the maples. So for all of you marathoners and half-marathoners, the runs will get easier.

Just a little note to all of the track and field people out there: These next couple of weeks are very critical to your overall efforts for a successful season. About two weeks after the season starts, we start seeing more and more athletes coming in with shin splints. Called tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are often a harbinger of things to come, if not treated immediately. They may be caused by irritated and swollen muscles from overuse, small hairline breaks in the lower leg bones, or over-stretched muscles from overpronation. And if they develop into a stress fracture, your season will end early. Be aware of the signs, a dull aching pain in the front of the lower leg. If you feel you may be developing shin splints, there are a few items and exercises that may help. Icing the leg for 20-30 minutes will help keep the swelling down. Additionally, range of motion exercises are important. And you may want to try compression socks or sleeves. We have also found that rolling a foam roller or Stick on the painful areas will help to break up any damaged tissue that builds up in the shins. And obviously, look at the shoes. If you don’t have an arch support and/or an orthotic, it may be wise to stop at your local specialty store to see if that may help.

Here’s hoping that Spring brings success in your running, and warmer brighter days!

Happy running.