Timing of ice bath question from marathon runner with shin splints

by Farah

Hi- I'm a novice, flat footed, custom orthotic-fitted slow (12min/m easy pace) runner who's done 2 10ks and 2 half marathons in the past 2 years and walked Portland this past year.

I am running (hopefully) Paris in April. I had pain in my left leg in 2 hot spots while prepping for Seattle half (and its hills) and self diagnosed as shin splints.

I aggravated it during the half about 2 1/2 wks ago that I've run only 1m since. I had my husband do foam roller on my calves as suggested by some websites, and discovered my achilles were actually painful with only slight pressure.

So, I think I actually have achilles tendonitis as well, L>R.

Last night I began the ice bath. I read on another site that I should do warm moist packs and stretch out before activity, stretch immediately after, and then ice. (I usually do 15min yoga before and after running)

1- Should I be doing the moist packs?
2- I'm wondering about the timing of your regimen. Should I be doing the ice bath after running, late @ night when no activity will be forthcoming, etc.
3- Should I do ice baths more than once a day, if possible?
4- Should I supplement with shin splints taping? I'm focused more on the shin splints since it's this pain that's preventing me from running. I do know that they're all interrelated.

I'm desperate to start my trainingg program for April, so I really appreciate any suggestions that you have.

Thank you.


Joshua Answers:

Hello Farah.

I appreciate your motivation and desire. Rock on.

1. Hot moist packs: Sure, why not. Heat is good to bring blood to the area and make tissue more mobile.

You could also just do self massage. Squeeze the sponge, old stuff out, new stuff in, movement warms tissue and makes it more mobile. Plus you don't have to mess with the packs.

2. Ice as much as you want, meaning, as often as you want. Morning, noon, night, before/after activity.

Icing creates circulatory turnover. Old stuff out, new stuff in. Old stuff bad, new stuff good.

3. Ice dip for 10-20 seconds. AS MANY TIMES AS YOU ARE MOTIVATED TO DO! Morning, noon, and night.

Were I a runner, and wanted to stay pain free, Ice Dipping would be one of my primary activities.

RIght now, I'm house sitting a place with a hot tub and a pool.

The pool is COLD.
And I'll be jumping in several times a day. Full body immersion is VERY beneficial. If you have a pool or body of water near, go jump in a bunch. Literally.

Or you can make your tub a cold plunge. This is not pleasant, but it's EFFECTIVE.

And remember, you need to ice dip enough to OVERWHELM the Process of Inflammation.

A BIG part of running pain and Tendonitis is inflammation. It's one of the factors you have to deal with.

4. Shin Splint taping: Yes, you bet. ONe of the issues with shin splints is connective tissue constriction.

Taping puts some pull and stretch on connective tissue and helps pull it open some, or at least helps keep it from constricting.

5. Also, keep with the rolling. Do that as much as possible. If you want to marathon in April, I suggest you take a month and put all your running time into self care time. (Keep in shape on a bike or swimming, but you need to be a self care athlete right now).

6. Increase your calories and protein. I assert that too much of your protein intake is being burnt for fuel and not enough is left to repair and heal.

Supplement with coconut oil. Increase your protein intake.

7. Magnesium. Read the Magnesium for Tendonitis page and then follow the link at the bottom to the Magnesium Dosage page. Follow what it says to do.

I'm experimenting with Magnesium oil. Help me. Get some Magnesium Oil (link to the best and least expensive that I have found) and use on the legs/shins/hot spot areas.

8. It can't hurt to get your Vitamin D level checked and make sure your levels are up. Indirectly related but TOTALLY important, not going to talk about it here unless you ask or tell me your level.

So. Ice. Self Massage. Calories, protein, magnesium.

Start with that.

More questions, more answers.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Subscribe to The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter Today!

For TIPS, TRICKS, and up-to-date Tendonitis information you need!




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.

I promise to use it only to send you The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter.

Click here to post comments

Return to Ask The Tendonitis Expert .

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.