Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And the Verdict Is...

I have mentioned a few times before that I was having some knee pain when running downhill. It first started during the Baltimore Half Marathon and has been occurring every time I have run downhill since then.

In addition to this knee pain, I have been struggling with pain on the inside of my lower legs since I started running back in April. The pain increased when running uphill so I switched to running on a flat trail near my house. The pain went away and I was no longer concerned with it.

When I started school in August I started running hills again because my apartment and school are both in very hilly areas. And the pain came back. Luckily it wasn't as bad as it was before but it was still painful enough.

The combination of the pain on the inside of my lower legs plus the newly developed knee pain convinced me to talk to someone with more knowledge. I made an appointment with a sports medicine specialist back in my hometown, hoping I wasn't in too much trouble.

My appointment was last night. As soon as I told the doctor what was bothering me he knew exactly what the problem was.

He told me that the pain on the inside of my lower leg is shin splints. I was very relieved to hear that it wasn't a stress fracture and that I could easily overcome this.

He then told me that my knee pain was actually caused by the IT band. I thought this was the problem but after doing some reading I am pretty scared. My doctor said that stretching, ice, strength training, and running on soft, flat surfaces should help relieve the pain.

He gave me some exercises to do, which I did as soon as I got back home. I am going to take my ibuprofen, stretch, strengthen, and ice round the clock. I want to tackle this thing as best as possible.

I also plan on minimizing the amount of hills I run right now. Worst case worst, I can head inside to run on the treadmill. I hate treadmills but I hate being injured even more.

Have you struggled with shin splints or IT band issues? Any suggestions for relieving pain?

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