I'm training for my first marathon since high school. The race is this coming Sunday. I'm 48 now. I was doing cool running's advanced program, and had completed a 28 miler a couple weeks ago. No problems other than running out of gas. One of the days after the 28, I ran 3 with 5 y.o. shoes(poor cushioning). The next Saturday I pole-vaulted, and the next day ran 15 on a woods trail. I can't exactly remember when it started(age), but possibly I noticed before or after the 15 miler that one of my shins was sore. I tried running after that, and it seemed to go away while running, and come back after, which jibes with what I've read. I have noticed a little extra fluid on my right shin. The pain isn't in a horizontal line as I've read stress fractures might be. My left shin doesn't bother me at all. I'm thinking it was the pole-vaulting(one shin only) that caused it, but it may have been the old shoes. Finally, the most pressing question i'm wondering is should i attempt the marathon anyway and just ice, massage etc? Does icing actually help heal or just make it feel better? Should I do strengthening, stretching of that anterior muscle even if it's a little sore when I do it? I just don't want to make it worse, but if it will help, I'm all for it. Some people have suggested getting xray, or MRI, but I hate to incur that expense if it's not even the bone. My insurance pays, but it just seems wasteful.
The pole vaulting, it likely a signficant factor. Determining whether it is a tibial stress fracture or shin splints (Medical Tibial Stress Syndrome) is an appropriate step. Checking with your Primary Care Physician he can determine if a radiograph or bone scan is indicated. The results of diagnostic imaging is a smart step before you decide to continue pole vaulting or not. Take a look at this short article Shin Splints Shock Absorption and Stride Length.
Damien Howell PT, DPT, OCS - www.damienhowellpt.com
Thanks Damien for that info. Sometimes I wonder about the information I get, but you seem to have a good background/experience in shin splint issues. I'm going to try running the marathon anyway, and keep an eye on my form for that and vaulting.
Thanks for sharing the article! Good info!!