Shin Splints before I-Day

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by chouse12, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. chouse12

    chouse12 New Member

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    In my attempts to prepare for the vast amounts of running during Plebe Summer, I have developed shin splints. I have pursued all avenues in attempting to overcome these, from reducing distance run, taking up low impact activities like swimming in place of running, and purchasing new running shoes that are best for my feet and gait. I have also recently seen a sports physical therapist in order to be overly cautious and not allow this problem to become worse.

    Unfortunately, as I have seen little to no improvement, the physical therapist warned me of the possibility of a stress fracture. Now, both of us agreed this is unlikely as the distances I have been running are really not that far and I haven't been running all too frequently (never more than every other day due to the fact that I am fairly new to running). However, he did recommend that I see an orthopedist in order to receive a diagnosis as to the possibility of stress fractures or if my case is simply shin splints.

    I am starting to feel very anxious with I-day approaching quickly (3 weeks exactly!). I want this more than anything I have ever pursued in my life and I am frustrated that something stupid like this is getting in the way of pursuing my dream.

    My question is this: Supposing I do have a stress fracture before I-day, would it be possible or likely that I will be turned away for this year and have to re-apply for the class of 2015?

    Or supposing I don't have a stress fracture and I simply have shin splints, would I still be required to notify the medical liasion to DoDMERB at USNA?

    Also, assuming I am not turned away, how would either of these issues affect one during Plebe Summer?

    I am sorry for the long winded narrative, I am just overly anxious about this problem. I will do everything I can to fix this and if it means running through stress fractures during Plebe Summer, that is what I will do. Thank you all for any help and advice you can provide me. Good luck to everyone else preparing for I-day and Plebe Summer!
     
  2. soccerdude407

    soccerdude407 Member

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    I don't know enough to answer your questions. I do, however, have some experience with shin splints. I have gotten them multiple times in the last few years. They can be caused by a couple different things. Mine have been from my calves becoming excessively tight from a sudden increase in running mileage. The tightness in the calves causes a strain on the antagonist muscle group in your shins. To get rid of the shin splints, I take a hot shower (to warm up my calf muscles) then stretch my calves very thoroughly. I do this 4-5 times a day. The shin splints usually clear up in a day or two when I do this. That being said, you may have a completely different problem and this strategy may not actually help at all.
     
  3. tucker92

    tucker92 Member

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    If you aren't taking a multivitamin, you might consider it, as loss of vitamins and nutrients may contribute to shin splints, especially if you are a woman. Years ago my daughter's track coach had a real problem with shin splints among the girls. He asked the boys' coach, who told him he had his boys take iron and advised the girls' coach to have the girls take iron every morning. The problem disappeared.
     
  4. chouse12

    chouse12 New Member

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    I have been working on improving my calf muscle mobility, and, according to my physical therapist, it has improved. However, I haven't seen any improvements in how my shins feel before and after running (doesn't hurt when running typically). I will take you suggestion into account though, thanks for the help.
     
  5. chouse12

    chouse12 New Member

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    I'm a male but this is worth a shot, it's a pretty easy thing to try. Thanks!
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    There are two questions here. First, on the USNA side . . . I suggest you follow up with Larry Mullen of DODMERB (on the DODMERB board) to ask him about what SAs may or may not do WRT shin splints on I-Day.

    From what I've heard, if you arrive on I-Day with a medical issue that is relatively minor and will resolve quickly (e.g., minor sprain), it's not a problem. If your problem is more severe and will limit your ability to participate in Plebe Summer (e.g., severe sprain, broken leg), you'll be pushed back a year (I don't THINK you have to reapply but am unsure on this point). Where shin splints might fall on that continuum is something with which Larry may be able to help. As he always says, what happened to someone else has little bearing on you . . . every case is different.

    As for the medical situation, I suggest that you see an MD ASAP. I realize there is some fear b/c . . . what if he/she says you can't run for months . . . or whatever. However, the MDs at USNA aren't idiots. In fact, they have some of the best orthopedists in the USN assigned there. They will ultimately be the ones to evaluate your problem when you can't participate in PEP that first morning. Thus, why not learn what an orthopedist says now -- maybe there is something you CAN do in the next 3 weeks.

    Suggestions made above are well meant . . . and some may even work. However, you are potentially talking about your future. It I were you, I'd get myself to a medical professional -- the best I could afford -- rather than well-intentioned suggestions on a public Internet site or even suggestions from a sports trainer.
     
  7. chouse12

    chouse12 New Member

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    I have an appointment with an orthopedist this afternoon (sorry, forgot to mention that in original post). Thank you for your help and I will follow up with Mr. Mullen as well.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^

    That's really all you can do at this point. I hope things turn out well.
     
  9. DaveO

    DaveO New Member

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    keep us posted on your outcome...good luck
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. However, I do remember one little tidbit from our morning "appointments" with Heinz Lenz each morning during Plebe Summer.

    He used to make us do an exercise to prevent shinsplints that invloved someone holding your foot down while you tried to pull your toes up toward your knees. This used the muscles in the front of your leg.

    It may be helpful to you at this point, but check with the doctor first.

    Sadly, that's all I can offer aside from best wishes. :frown:
     
  11. USNAwaterpolo

    USNAwaterpolo Member

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    Your situation sounds almost completely identical to my situation. I have started running and have been getting these shin splints really bad. Same thing as you, I get run every other day, it doesnt hurt when Im actually running and I have tried new shoes, etc. I am anxious to hear wha the doctor says to you. I am considering going to a doctor too, so i would like to hear what they say to you.
     
  12. chouse12

    chouse12 New Member

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    So the good news is I don't have a stress fracture...bad news is the doctor doesn't want me to run for the three weeks before I-day as a precautionary measure and to ensure that I'll be healthy going in. To replace running, he recommended pool running and swimming. Will be giving pool running a try (already swim 4-5 days a week).

    He mentioned I could run through the shin splints but said in order to be completelty healthy/pain-free for I-day, he thought it best to lay off running for the next three weeks. I think it would be tough adjusting to no running at all to all of a sudden running 15-20 miles a week...I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on this.
     
  13. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    What about working out on an elliptical? Running motion w/o the pounding stress on legs and knees.
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Someone who's been their recently correct me if I'm wrong....

    PEP is still held on the 150-pound football course behind 8th wing?

    If so, the surface there USED to be a slightly-padded astroturf. Most of our running and PT was held on that field, with occaisional runs along the roads. IOW, a good part of the 15-20 miles per week may be on a softer surface than a standard pavement.

    Either way, I'd do what your doctor says. Ask him about the elliptical, too.
     
  15. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    If you have been running for a while and building up your endurance and strength, taking a few weeks off should not make that much difference in your conditioning. This is especially true if you intend to continue working aerobically by swimming. It is far more important to rest those muscles and get some healing in before plebe summer. Listen to your doctor. You won't be sorry.
     
  16. chouse12

    chouse12 New Member

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    That is good to hear about the running being mainly on a soft(er) surface.

    I'm not so much worried about being in shape endurance wise as much as I am worried about having to start up actually running again and how my legs will respond to it (not to sound like a wimp or anything). My doctor said one of the causes of shin splints is generally doing "too much, too soon," in terms of running too long a distance at too early a stage in one's training program. What does everyone think about not running for two weeks (as opposed to three) and then running say 7-10 miles (for the whole week) the week before I-day as sort of a startup to all the running we'll be doing over Plebe Summer?
     
  17. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    If the MD says no running, then don't run. Between now and I-day, you can still do biking (regular or stationary), swimming, pool running, or use an elliptical machine. You can still do pushups, situps, and stretching.

    In PEP 2 years ago, all the stretching, calesthenics, and some jogging was done on the sprint football field. Regimental runs were done on pavement.

    My now 2/C Mid has periodic issues with shin splints. She sometimes has to stop running for weeks at a time, but she does enough other leg workouts and cardio workouts to not fall too far behind on run times and distances. Elliptical machine (if you have access) and pool running are a pretty decent approximation of jogging.

    You really do not want to be a "broken Plebe" on the first day.
    Listen to your doctor!!!
     
  18. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Don't take my word for it. I was doing PEP while you were still in diapers, so a lot may have changed, including the accuracy of my memory.

    I'm hoping one of the current guys can confirm/deny.

    I DO know the deck in the new field house is padded. WOW that place is COOL! Saw it completed for the first time last week. :eek:

    ...Although I don't think the LAX team enjoyed seeing their field taken away or the guys in 7th wing having their view of the Severn destroyed. :rolleyes:
     

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