Sandhurst and Shin Splints

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by Snagsy, Dec 20, 2010.

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  1. So I'm off to Sandhurst in a little under 3 weeks... and I have in the past week fallen victim to mild shin splints.

    The obvious here is to contact their staff ASAP and take their advice, but I'm just wondering what's likely to happen.... I assume that they are unlikely to hold back on deferring me to May entry and putting me through another PCCBC with its full medical. The though of a further three months unemployed (or at least unemployed until I can get myself a short term retail job/similar) does not sit well with me if it is likely that the shin splints will clear up in no time and leave me on the sidelines as the rest of the entry are getting on with it in January.

    Other options are to keep it quiet and see how I am after Christmas, however I know that the medical staff are away on leave from the end of this week, go and see a private physio (£70) to ask their opinion, and probably a few other options that I'm missing out.

    Not had an issue with shin splints before, and I don't think I've gone too excessive on the phys - lots of good stretches, not too many miles on the trainers, mix of running on grass/road etc, but a second/third/twenty fifth opinion would be appreciated here.

    Most likely situation here is that I'm venting through frustration and will be on the phone to RMAS in the morning. I know that some of their staff read this board and will frown upon me not getting in touch. Integrity and all that eh?

    Just hoping someone else has a similar experience and can provide some useful words.

  2. Snagsy

    Check your pms.

    Old Rat
  3. One of the problems is that shin splints are commonly misdiagnosed. Quite often, particularly when tabbing, many people get a sharp muscle pain at the front of their lower leg which they believe are shin splints.

    Assuming that you are fairly young and physically fit, I would take a break from running for a week or so (you can swim instead) and listen to what your body is telling you. Again, in your position I would continue with stretching, you should be able to find some good stretches for your shins.

    Depending on how you feel, you should see your GP, although these can be a bit hit and miss as most get most of their experience treating old ladies rather that young physically active men.
  4. PBW

    PBW Swinger

    If you have been running with weight or in boots stop both of these. Day one (and two if pain doesn't let off) is rest ice compression elevation. Stretch out your lower leg every few hours, you will fin suitable stretches with google but make sure you hit the gastrocnemius, soleus and achilles tendons. Also massage the front of your leg where the tibia (the medial bone on the inside) meets the muscle at the front - get your thumbs into this muscle but not too deep, it will likely be tender!

    Day two or three you should test to see if the symptoms have maintained their original level or have downgraded. Ensure a thorough warm up and massage your lower leg before attempting exercise. Progress from walking to jogging concentrating on your running technique and being aware of any fluctuations in pain. If it has eased off considerably continue to treat, else give the medical centre a call and wait out.

    If you are still going in January try and discover what the cause of the problem was - common causes are overtraining, poor running technique, excessive weight bearing activity. PM me if any questions (I was a strength and conditioning coach in a past life).

    Edited to add this is a much shorter assessment and diagnosis period than is ideal but it being so close to Christmas during which time you can't get in touch with RMAS.
  5. You can train through shin splints, I did a marathon with mine. Try some pain relief gel and try kneeling down and sitting on your heels to stretch them.

    Oh, and seek expert advice.
  6. DO NOT train through shin splints.

    -Have 3 weeks complete rest from impact training.
    -As suggested try swimming or cycling to maintain fitness as best you can.
    -Take anti inflamitories regularly and ice the front inside section of your shin bones for 10-20 mins 4 times a day. (if you are unemployed this shouldn't be an issue!)
    **IMPORTANT** Gradualy introduce strengthening exercises for the tibialis anterior. (search youtube for shin splint exercises)
    **IMPORTANT** STRETCH your gastroc and soleous muscles regularly throughout the day (search on youtube)

    I would recommend seeing a podiatrist to address the root cause as a physio will diagnose you then basically just tell you what I have told you and show you countless exercises with a bit of deep massage thrown in.

    Disclaimer- about a week before PCCBC I developed shin splints on my left leg and kept training, making it so much worse. The above advice comes after spending a small fortune on a physio to sort me out. I will turn up to Sandhurst "unfit" but still make the Jan intake as I cannot delay intake for financial reasons. Shin splints gone and causes addressed- touch wood!
  7. PBW

    PBW Swinger

    Good advice on the stretching and rehab front but bear in mind that in three weeks time the OP will be at RMAS and if the cause of shin splints is gait imperfections caused by ITB syndrome or the onset thereof then cycling will make it a great deal worse come the return to running.

    Unfortunately the medical systems employed in general seem to be unable to assess all the possible causes, for example: a Physio would assess the musculature and skeletal causes; a Pod would look at foot pressure points and ankle movement whilst a GP would spout useless crap and get paid twice as much as the others put together.
  8. I agree for the most with Dirk Digler's advice; I had shin splints a few years ago and tried to train through with the result of being injured for a year. However, I'd say that a session with a private physio (it's unlikely that you'd get an appointment with an NHS physio within the next 3 weeks) might be beneficial, or even having a deep tissue massage which although it'll hurt like hell should help a great deal. Although part of the session will be focused on diagnostics they'll also spend time working at reducing the inflammation and muscle stiffness using tools like ultrasound which often work better than a bag of frozen peas (still good though, don't forget to RICE!). You could be fixed within 3 weeks, you may not - it depends on a lot of factors. I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope to see you in January.

  9. Thanks for the advice all - I managed to get a sports physio appt Thurs and will communicate with RMAS/Post back here appropriately following that!

    Picking up a few pieces though:

    Not been running aside from some interval training on grass at the start of the week to "test the water". I have been in the gym on the bikes and will be swimming as well.

    I have two pairs of trainers costing near £100 each and both bought from a reputable shop who have put me on the treadmill and done their best to overcome the below:

    They must have had a laugh when they designed my skeleton, because my naff lower limb/foot assembly means I have spent some years overcoming ITBFS and am, I believe, always first in line when it comes to lower limb injury. I was previously ambered for this reason.

    I am experiencing pain on the lower inner calf, not in front of the shin, so this is perhaps not typical shin splints... I will let the professionals tell me that one however!

    I've been warming up, down, stretching, icing, elevating, resting (not compressing though, as my taping skills are not up to scratch) like a good'un.

    Anyway, I'll report in in 48hrs and update you all.

    Thanks very much for your advice, it's just what I needed!:thumright:
  10. So.... I went to the Physio today and he informed me that the problem was due to my flat and overpronating feet, which I imagined it would be. I need to do exercises to strengthen the muscles in front of my shins, and am advised to get a proper, custom, pair of orthotic insoles. Exercise wise, I need to stay off the running as much as possible over the next 2 weeks (basically until I arrive at RMAS) and substitute non-impact CV work.

    I have tried to contact RMAS but there's no one in, so I've left a message and sent an e-mail. I'm not sure if RMAS will play it safe and defer my entry, but hopefully I'll find out soon.

    Thanks for your help, I'll update when I know more - perhaps this could be of some use in the future to another person in a similar situation.
  11. Custom Orthotics were a massive help for me, although pricey.
    I went to the podiatrist and had a foot cast and he then constructed my insoles out of carbon fibre, they have a life time guarantee mind.
    They also took nearly 2 months to be made and in my boots/shoes.

    I would highly recommend these for the time being, SOLE Ultra Custom Heat Moldable Footbeds | Insole and Footbeds |

    Massively helped me whilst I was waiting for my fully custom ones to be made, and I still use them in my off-road pair of trainers.

    People say to train through shin splints, people say don't. I would personally buy shares in an Ibuprofen manufacturer, then buy a years worth.
  12. Are you a doctor? No, I bet you aren't, so why the galloping fuck are you self-diagnosing shin splints? Shin pain maybe, but I bet it's not splints.

    If you put words in to your doctor's mouth, he'll write it on your records, then you'll be buggered.
  13. Thanks for that, they quoted me £150 or so for the moulded ones. I'll have a look around!

    Matron - unless I am failing to understand here, shin splints is a generic term for pain in the lower legs, particularly when running. In that case, I have shin splints. If it is not, then I am sorry for being obtuse and I have pain in my lower leg whilst running instead! Either way, I did not mention it at the physio, not that he was my doctor, or had access to my medical records.
  14. I too was under the impression that shin splints is the generic term given to pain at the front of the lower leg. I'm willing to be corrected though.

    I met the woman who runs Sole insoles last month and she does forces discounts - she offered me discount rates despite not having officially signed my life away yet. Will see if I can find her details and PM them to you if you want.
  15. Once you get to Sandhurst if you keep having shin problems then get a physio appointment and you can be issued insoles. Bear in mind that once you get there you will be issued trainers that I had and still have mega issues with, so no point in having gucci ones now as you won't be allowed to use them (unless you have a chit from the med centre). I found that in the first 5 weeks all the marching around as well as the tabs really hit my shins hard, and I hadn't had issues with them before, so be prepared for some pain.