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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
thisiscourtney Offline
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Leg/ankle injuries - February 13th 2010, 09:00 PM

For a few weeks now I've had shin splints. I gave up running and instead settled for my elliptical thinking it would be easier on my leg and unfortunately, nothing has improved. On top of that, there's pain in my ankle whenever I try to do any type of exercise. I know that my leg needs rest, but I can't stand the idea of immediately removing all exercise from my schedule in fear that I'll get out of shape and it will take a while to get back to where I was in terms of fitness ability. So what exercises can I do that won't harm any part of my body but will allow me to maintain my fitness level? And how can I speed up the healing process?

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Re: Leg/ankle injuries - February 13th 2010, 09:05 PM

I am not sure about what exercises but I know from Physical Therapy, that wearing an ankle brace can ease the pain. Something as simple as this:

After you do your fitness also make sure you ice it for atleast 20 minutes. Hope this helps some.

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Re: Leg/ankle injuries - February 14th 2010, 12:56 AM

Hey there -

I was in a similar position last fall - shin splints during cross country season, I ignored them and ran through the pain for a month or so. Took a week off in between XC and indoor track, then jumped back into heavy training for three weeks, at which point the pain had gotten so bad I could barely walk at all and had to see an orthopedic. I was told my shin splints had developed into stress fractures. The point I'm trying to make here is that, you can't ignore the pain and exercise through it, the only way to heal shin splints and prevent them from getting worse is by resting and icing.

A good rule of thumb is to wait two weeks after you're completely pain-free - two weeks of no exercise, staying off your legs as much as possible. Then, you can start light training again - ease back into your normal activity. If you go too heavy too soon, you'll re-injure. I know how frustrating it can be to have to wait it out, but honestly, if you have shin splints sooner or later you're going to have to take some time off to let them heal. And sooner is better than later, because the longer you wait the worse your shins will get, which means the more time you'll have to take out.

You may or may not want to consider seeing an orthopedic - although in my opinion the only thing they can really do is tell you how far along your shin splints are and give you an approximation of how much time you need to take off. If your ankle is hurting as well though, it may be a good idea to consider seeing your doctor or an orthopedic.

In the meantime, there are things you can do to keep in shape - try switching to an upper-body type of exercise, such as swimming. Use the time off to work on building upper body strength, through weight lifting, medicine balls etc. Or, try deep-water running (running in place in a pool - it's very tedious but it'll keep you in the same shape you were before you got injured). Make sure you're icing your shins after exercise - it's a good idea to ice regularly throughout the day (never ice before a workout, though).

Depending on what kind of shape you're in, it shouldn't take you that long to get back in shape after taking time off. Everyone's different but for me, the last time I took time off I was back to where I was after 2-3 weeks. The important thing to remember is that you will get back to where you were, you just have to be patient and keep at it.

Hope this helps some, feel free to PM me if you have any questions or anything.Take care of yourself.

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Re: Leg/ankle injuries - February 14th 2010, 02:39 AM

I know you don't want to get out of shape, but resting for a week or two isn't going to do that much harm to your health if you exercise constantly. What is going to do harm is if you don't let your body rest and get back to normal - you can end up causing a lot of problems and make it worse which you definitely -don't- want to do because then you'll be out of exercise for even longer.

However, if you're keen on wanting to exercise, you'll want to do stuff that will take strain off of your legs and ankles. Try swimming - if you swim pull, the strain on your legs and ankles will be pretty minimal. Just be careful pushing off the walls.
Also, try some core training. These usually have little strain on the lower body, and you can take it easy.

You really -need- to take it easy and let yourself heal for a week or two. And when you do get back into working out, you have to ease yourself back into it.

Take care of yourself.

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Re: Leg/ankle injuries - February 14th 2010, 10:43 AM

I get how you feel totally when i was about 14 i fell of a mountain destroying my right side, mainly my right ankle and at that point was already set to do hiking trips with school and trecking in vietnam and stuff so was like screw it i'm going to do what i want and ignore everything else, i have have a sever permanent damage to my right ankle and will in all likelyhood need major opperations before i'm 30 to walk not great really.

Although on that side note swimming is normally a good sport if you have injuries as you have no impact to worry about and if your leg starts hurting you can do arms only and such likes
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