Running your first marathon is a thrilling accomplishment, but the training can involve unexpected aches and pains to your joints, tendons, and muscles.
The doctors on JustAnswer frequently address marathon-related injuries. In the second of this two-part series, we focus on lower leg injuries. Below are two common ailments described by runners in training, followed by information and tips from the doctors.
“I have strained the muscle on the anterior tibialis due to training for the marathon. Any advice and how long I can expect to be out for?”
Dr. Mark: What you are describing is likely the overuse injury known as “shin splints.”
And really the best way to recover is to continue to exercise, but not the type that would stress this particular muscle. Also:
- Over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen or aspirin, are helpful.
- Icing and wrapping the shin is helpful.
- Stretching before and after exercise is important.
Gradually increasing your exercise back after a couple of weeks to your normal level over a couple of months is recommended. Running in the water during recovery is also good advice.
“I’m training for my first marathon, and all of this running has caused some trouble for my left knee. It doesn’t hurt so much to run on it, but it’s sore afterwards, particularly going down stairs. It is sore just below the kneecap, and it hurts to kneel on it.”
Dr. Singh: Some possible causes for your symptoms are bursitis, inflammation or injury of the knee ligaments or tendons, and arthritis. I would recommend applying warm compresses to the knee 2-3 times a day. Continue using knee brace as often as needed.
If symptoms persist, you may need an X-ray of the knee for evaluation. You may also benefit from physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint.
The input from the physicians above should help you to continue training successfully for your first marathon. Good luck!
Read the first part of this marathon-training series, focusing on common foot problems.
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