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Shin splints

Jan 10th, 2014

Ames asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

Aged 17 I got very into running but after a few months was experiencing very bad shin splints (ie difficult to walk up and down stairs) which were made partly worse because I continued to run on them for some weeks before seeing my school physio. When I did see the physio (a decent one, who was used by various national sports teams) she told me that I had run the shin splints in to a point where she felt that I would probably never be able to run again. She did very little in terms of treatment of my legs though, aside from giving me a special innersole.

Now aged 29, I still have not been able to run since and even lengthy fast walking can bring the pain back. I cycle to work, so my fitness is OK. But having heard people being treated for albeit more minor shin splints than mine, I am beginning to wonder if my school physio fobbed me off a bit. Is treatment something that is worth exploring? Or could my first physio have been right?

Jan 10th, 2014

The Guru Responded:

Hi James ….the moral being, working for a national team doesn’t mean squit!

To me it sounds as if the true cause of your problem has yet to be identified. It’s far too easy to say don’t run again, as it’ll help, but it won’t get you better. I’ve seen very, very, very few people who can’t run. You may not be able to run marathons, but I’m sure there’s a 10k in you somewhere!

You need to see a good physio (ask around), who can explain to you in non medical terms why you can or can’t run – if that’s not us (and doesn’t have to be) do let me know what’s been said to see if it makes sense. The only possible dodgy bits are very anteverted femurs (and CDH as a kid) or massive tibial varus, or an equinus foot…..if you’ve never heard of any of these then don’t worry, and if you have it’s certainly not the end of the world!

Let me know how you go. The Guru

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