I am writing this from my bed, where I have spent the entire afternoon. My apartment is (a little bit) of a mess. I can’t decide what to have for dinner. Now, normally I pound out a couple of paragraphs of writing for this blog or for whatever project I’m working on in a real hurry, in between several scheduled activities, seated at my kitchen table while simultaneously eating a meal high in protein to fuel my muscles.
But, today I am nursing injury #23948710938, a shin splint that just won’t be gone.
I have had all of the injuries, you see. Well, most of them, I guess. And as much as I hate it, the only thing that helps them heal is not running.
The following is a list of the injuries I have sustained over the last 5 years of running, and what’s helped them get better, and about how long it took for them to get better.
- Bursitis of the Knee: For me, this one was actually less a running injury and more a raging vitamin-d deficiency. Take your vitamins, kids!
- Achilles Tendonitis: Pause your running. For real though. Ice your achilles every night. After 10 days-2 weeks, you can probably hit up a spin class to do some cross training. After 3-ish weeks, when you’re ready to go for a run, use KT Tape. Evaluate how fast you’d been upping your milage during your training, and work from there.
- Runners Knee: Rest, cross-training, stretch after exercise, KT Tape it for runs over 5 miles! I didn’t have to stop running completely when I had this issue; I just had to slow down and go to a few spin classes sometimes.
- Ankle Sprain (second degree): Definitely no running. Try to walk with a wrap and not a brace, as it will keep your muscles stronger. Go to PT! Do not skip PT. It will take a few weeks for your foot and leg to re-develop and strengthen the muscles that now need to take the place of whichever ligament has been torn. Accept that every time it is humid, the ghost of your sprain will return to haunt you.
- Shin Splints: Uh, I’m not really sure what advice to give here, as I am currently
working at healing this one up. Just as an FYI, my shins totally bruised up when the pain first started, which freaked me out. I went and got it X-rayed, but there was no sign of any fracture. Ice massages helped at first, as did compression sleeves during runs and at night. Now I’m at day 12 of a 2-week running break and I literally can’t wait until I can get out there again!
If you’re just starting off with the whole running thing, you should invest in some nice ice packs. The ones that wrap around with velcro are my favorites, although ice cubes in a baggie will do in a pinch. I also love using KT Tape for some extra support and feedback.
I don’t often stop running as soon as I feel an injury coming on; this is a real weakness of mine; I’ve gotten a lot better about it recently, though. I cannot say enough about what proper stretching, foam rolling, cross training, and adequate rest time can do to heal and prevent injuries. We runners push our bodies through a lot, and we need to show a little mercy as well.