It seems that when it rains it pours. Donna and Chantal have mentioned something about shin splints, and friends who I see on a regular basis just recently asked me what I knew about shin splints, PLUS my sister asked, too. I don't like to see my family, friends and blogger buddies in discomfort, so I'm passing along an artitcle from Runner's World.com:
"My shin is sore."
Whether it's serious or mild, we'll help you figure out the source of your shin pain
by: Deb Dellapena
Problem: "My shin is sore."
Q: Did the pain start soon after you made a major change to your training regimen (such as increasing your mileage by more than 10 percent a week or switching from running on a trail or treadmill to the road)?
If the answer is no, you ran into a coffee table or something. Really, it's most likely nothing. Take a day or two of rest. If the pain persists or you answered yes to the first question, continue to the next question.
Q: Does your calf feel tight, does your shin feel tingling? Does it ache when you're not exercising? Do you feel numbness or weakness in your foot?
If the answer is yes, you could have Compartment Syndrome, see [A] below. If no, read on.
Q: Is the pain present before you start running, fade once you're warmed up, and return again once you're done?
If the answer is yes, you could have shinsplints.
If you answered yes to the first question, but no to the next two, you could have a Tibial Stress Fracture see [C] below.
[A] Compartment Syndrome occurs when pressure within the muscle along your shin builds to dangerous levels, preventing blood and oxygen from reaching the nerve and muscle cells. See a doctor for a "pressure test," which measures the internal pressure of your muscle. Expect a four- to six-week layoff from running, during which you should treat it with ice, anti-inflammatories, massage, and stretching. If this therapy doesn't work, surgery may be necessary.
[B] Shinsplints is an overuse injury caused by small tears in the lower leg muscles. Worn-out shoes or lack of cushioning could be contributing to the problem. Take a few days off from running, and cross-train, ice, and stretch and massage the area. If the pain doesn't fade after two weeks, see a doctor to make sure it's not compartment syndrome or a stress fracture.
[C] Tibial stress fractures are overuse injuries that occur when the muscles become fatigued and can't absorb the shock of running. The workload is transferred to the bones, which can cause a tiny crack. Stress fractures are often misdiagnosed as shinsplints. The difference: Shinsplints are a muscle injury, and the pain fades once the muscle's warmed up. Fractures are a bone injury, and the pain worsens as you run. If you suspect a fracture, see a doctor for an x-ray, which will determine if you need an MRI or bone scan. Treatment is four to six weeks off from running. Cross-training depends on the severity of the fracture.
I hope this helps.