So yeah, back to the shin splints. They happened to appear after a track workout involving 2 x 1 mile repeats and 2 x 800 m repeats. Then I followed that up (knowing my leg was owie) with my 22 mile running weekend. Dumb. But I was well aware of what I was doing. Somehow an educated dumb seems better than an ignorant dumb.... After my 10 mile race, I decided that I would take a week off of running and do the R.I.C.E thing with a ton of stretching and wearing compression as often as is socially acceptable. Fortunately, I had intentionally planned the following week as a bike-heavy week so there were very few running workouts that had to be missed.
The following weekend, I made myself promise that if my leg wasn't feeling better by Monday that I would make the very hard phone call to my A.R.T doctor. Sure enough, Monday it was still bad and I made the phone call. And the walk of shame back into his office.
Good news: 3 treatments later and he says that my leg should be good to go! I even ran 8 miles last Sunday and it felt great!
Bad news: OMG, my leg is still sore and bruised from the treatment. For the record: when your doctor tells you that you should ice your leg for the rest of the day, that means you're in for a lot of pain.
Just the A.R.T. process hurts. I don't know how I went in for ~10 treatments this winter for my left leg. I swear, the treatment for right leg hurts worse than the left leg did! He basically jams his thumb into the tissues of your shin and presses SUPER hard and as an added bonus he'll sometimes move the pressure around, all while he's moving your foot/ankle through a full range of motion. The idea is to break up the adhesions and scar tissue that is causing the shin splits. And trust me, those tissues went through the equivalent of a very ugly divorce in my 3 treatments.
But the even better news? He said that after 3 treatments, I only have to come in "as needed". No more torture sessions! I still haven't ran this week, mainly because it hurts when I walk. I need to be better about icing and perhaps taking some Aleve would be a good call.
As an added entertainment bonus, I've just been watching a rainbow develop in my lower leg / ankle all week. Behold:
|Immediately after treatment on Thursday... just a little red... no biggie|
|a full 24 hrs after Thursday's treatment (my 2nd treatment). Leg is a weird red/brown color|
|Tuesday morning, right before the 3rd treatment. Notice how the brusing has migrated to my ankle and foot!|
|Thursday, 48 hrs after the 3rd and final treatment. Somehow, the bruising is darker and has spread further up my foot.... Colorful!|