Compression tights, funny calf socks - what should I buy?
Hello everyone. I've got shin splints for the second year running and have been advised to buy compression tights and neutral trainers. (I have used and loved Brooks Adrenaline for years).
So today I bought some Brooks Defyance shoes, and then tried on some 2xu compression tights. I was about to buy them until I saw the price - £110! These were the elite ones and I could have bought some non-elite ones for (I think) £75 but I tried them on and they didn't feel as tight as the more expensive ones, and I thought as I'm only buying them to be tight, I might as well get the properly tight ones.
Anyway, I didn't buy any as I was so gobsmacked by the price, and thought I would go home and google. Now I've googled all night and I'm confused. Should I get 2xu, or Skins, or what? And do I wear them during my run (I usually run six miles, three or four times a week) or after, or in bed? And what about those calf compression things?
If anyone can advise I would be most grateful.
I've had a stress fracture which for a while I thought was shin splints. I wore compression wraps to help because it did help deflect the pain and I think helped with the jarring you get when you run due to the impact each step takes.
I saw all the specialised compression wear and for me its just beyond expensive! It was not an option. But what I did find in a Runners Need store (I also know Run and Become stores have them) were compression wraps. They have loads of stuff by the same brand (and no I can't remember the brand name- sorry!) the wraps and various supports are all in blue, have velcro fastenings to pull them tighter and have wraps for ankles, knees and calves. When I bought them they were £10 a go and probably last longer then most compression wear which weakens with use and age as you cannot pull the compression wear by 2xu or Skins or wherever in via velcro straps. Its also probably a great deal easier to wear!
With shin splints, rest is the only cure, know that by running on them even with compression wear you are aggrivating them and just prolonging your recovery- I'm taking it your trying to run a mini marathon or 5K race or something because running with shin splints is never a good idea, the more you do it the longer your down time when you've decided to take time out.
Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation will be useful. Use the ice immediatly after walking or if things start to throb. Compression when your walking or exercising (non impact exercising is best but rest is even better) and elevate by raising your calves so they are above your chest but do not sleep with the compression/elevation because when recovering you need the circulation to flow freely to aid recovery.
Shin splints are lots of mini tears which will only get worse if they don't have time to heal. Make sure you have a good few weeks of down time if you want them to recover properly and at the first of twinge of pain you must stop and carry on your rest. Sports massage can help as it boosts the circulation, swimming and non-impact yoga can also help and if your brave enough, foam rollers can help!
Jen thank you so much for all this info - it is so helpful. I have seen a physio and a podiatrist and neither has given me half as much useful advice.
Funny what you say about the compression thing - that sounds brilliant,and I was in Runner's Need today. I went to look at compression stuff and the girl in there told me I should try compression socks rather than tights, as they cover the foot as well. Given that they were 30 quid rather than 110, I snapped them up, and will try a run with them as soon as my shin is better.
That calf sleeve you mention sounds brilliant, and I agree with the line about being able to tighten it making it better than compression clothing that will eventually 'give'. I got a £10 voucher at RN this morning so will go back and have a look at the sleeve.
I have had shin splints ever since having my third baby two years ago - well, since I started running 18 months ago. I think I was so desperate to get back into things, I did too much, too soon. Also, apparently, three big babies have f***ed my hips and core so I run in a wobbly way which aggravates the shin splint muscle (can never remember its Latin name).
I am toying with a half marathon in October, but don't want to sign up until I feel a bit better from the SS.
Thanks so much for all your advice - gonna read it back again now!
PS how did you know you had a stress fracture and not shin splints?
And were you running great distances? I only do 6 miles, three times a week!
I found out I had the SF with a nucelar bone scan. i had an X-Ray first but it showed up nothing- apparently thats more of a protocol and means you can then go on to have scans which show more things. I then got an MRI which I was told by the screen that everything was fine byt luckily I had a consultant with a few brain cells who could see the scan was not fine- there was a lot of inflammation. He then requested a nuclear bone scan. It is as scary as it sounds- they give you radio active fluid (injected) and you have to wait for about 5 hours so it goes all the way through your system (your not allowed to go near small children or the elderly!) then they take a special sort of x-ray scan and it basicly shows up all the areas of concerns. This is where the cells have just been renewed so injured spots where the body is attempting to repair things. I had a very clear tibial stress fracture (and apparently the early stages of osteoarthritis in my knees and ankle).
It was quite a while out and I've heard with shin splints its not much less- I'd not do the marathon to be honest- you've barely enough time to recover let alone to rebuild yourself up again. The deal with shin splints is they are an overuse injury and they happen when your muscles expand (as they do when being used and when they develop) but too quickly and come away from your bone, this tearing causes the pain and your basicly waiting for them to heal over before you can hit the road again. As its an injury which has happened/developed recently it is very likely to happen again and if you retrain too quickly or have poor form or whatever the case is, its going to reoccur and its likely to get worse.
The myth is SS will become SFs and that is not true, one is an injury of the muscle the other an injury of the bone. But neither are worse then the other- both are injuries and will need time to recover. Apparently muscles can heal faster then bone can but I think again that depends on the level of injury and things like your nutrition. Keep the circulation going when things are recovering to give yourself a boost. And water (drinking and swimming in) can also help.
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