Ahhh i think i have stress fractures.. maybe?
im scared my shin splints are actually stress fractures. last thursday marked the 3weeks of shin splints. the first two i didnt run at all and they didnt get any better.. only worse. it started out with one shin.. then the other. and now it feels as if i have them on the inside and out of my shins...im goin to get xrays tomorrow. what exactly are stress fractures, and how do you fix them? how long does it take for them to heal? im so scared cuz i LOVE running and i dont want to have to stop...
Stress fracutres are exactly that- fractures in the bone due to extreme stress. They sometimes will not show up on x-ray however and you may need to get a bone scan to find if you do have a stress fracture. Hopefully you're seeing an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine doctor? They can help you more than say a podatrist would.
Stress fractures require rest and they would put a halt to running because if you continue to run on a stress fracture you can risk breaking the bone entirely. With shin splints, as uncomfortable as they are, you can continue running with them however it will probably be recommended that you run only on the track and on the field as road running is too high of an impact.
I have attached a link to explain them better, hopefully it helps and hopefully you don't have a stress fracture!
But whatever... THE SOLUTION IS THE SAME. If you have a stress fracture, you NEED TO STOP RUNNING SO IT WILL HEAL. If you don't have a stress fracture, you NEED TO STOP RUNNING TO GET OVER THE SHIN SPLINTS.
Shin splints are caused by muscle imbalance. Running strengthens the back of the legs, but doesn't do anything for the front. So the cure is the strengthen the shin muscles. To do this, lie in bed face down, hanging your toes over the end of the bed. Gently pull your toes toward the head of the bed pulling against the mattress. Repeat this maybe 15-20 times each morning and night.
When you are able to run again, before and after, stretch the shins by standing on the heel of your shoes keeping the toes and forefeet off the ground.
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