Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't be a dumb ass - My shin splint situation

You know how when you go to the dentist, you'll always be asked how often you floss?  You'll sheepishly reply something about how you try to do it every couple nights.  Really, you do it about once a month, or just on days after eating corn on the cob.  You know it, you're dentist knows it, and you both know you ought to do it more.

That's how I've always felt when I go to see my massage therapist, Shannon.  I'll mention a tight muscle and she'll suggest a couple stretches for it.  She also always reminds me to stretch and sometimes ice the muscles she worked on afterwards.  And... well, let's just say, I'm less then diligent.

Now, I've got another stretching advocate, Dr Greg.  He's the chiropractor I went to see about my tight achey calf, once I realized it could be shin splints.  

Now, it may seem ridiculous that I didn't realize I was developing shin splints, but let me just say that it isn't my shins that were bothering me.  Rather, it is the muscle that connects to them.  So, I was identifying it as calf tightness, which it is.  The thing is, with the location of this calf tightness (and the fact that it never really went away), it can lead to shin splints.

Anyways, Dr. Greg asked me about my stretching practices.  I said that I try to stretch - sometimes.  Truthfully, I do try to stretch, but not nearly as often as I should.  I'd say 1 out 4 runs a week are followed by a good stretch.  After swimming or biking?  Almost never.

Then he asked me if I'd been icing the sore calf.  I said no.  I know I should, but I just don't take the time.

He told me I was being a dumb ass.

Okay... actually he didn't say I was a dumb ass.  Much more diplomatic.  I think it was more like "Deb, Deb Deb, you're going to have to be a more seasoned triathlete."

What I heard (and I'm sure he was thinking) is "Don't be such a dumb ass.  You're not twenty years old anymore."

Now, the GOOD news is, I've got no restriction on running, and while this is an overuse injury, it is currently a very minor one - provided I take care of it properly.

Then he proceeded to move my leg around and prod at my calf.  If you've never had ART before, let me say it sure doesn't tickle.  But, it's productive pain, and if it would keep me running, I'd deal with any pain that can help me.

For the next couple weeks, I need to stretch after running, ice it and get some ART (active release therapy).

Oh, and I probably should keep stretching after that, as well as icing when I have sore spots.  After all, I need to stop being a dumb ass, because I'm not twenty years old anymore...


  1. Haha I laughed at your title!!

    The thing that I like about group workouts is that you always do stretching together so it gets done.

    When I run by myself, I almost always forget to stretch. Stretch after a solo trainer workout? Nope. Even my strength training DVDs have stretching at the end.

    Now go stretch and ice! Glad to hear that you don't have a running restriction!

  2. This cracked me up. Glad to hear it's a minor injury though and that you can keep on running. It's tough to get in the stretching routine sometimes, but it sure does help!

  3. I am sooo bad about stretching!!! I've got a couple of new pains too that I really need to take care of. I will stretch and roll and it will feel good and then I will forget again until it hurts...I need to keep on it. Thanks for the reminder.