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Injuries Chronic & Acute

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Old 11-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
Robbie Farrell
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Location: Meath  Ireland
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Shin splints, knee pain from oly lifting and nerve pains in my arms - a walking list of injuries

Note: This is a long post although if you read the 'intro' & 'problem areas' section and look at the picture you'll know where my problem areas currently are. The rest of the post below gives an insight to my training, how the problems started and what I've been trying to do to fix it.


I've been trying to fix 3 injuries that I've been suffering this year. I've been to 3 different physios and none of them actually fixed them or made them slightly better. I'm hoping that somebody online might have some ideas on what to get a physio or doctor to look for an any recommendations on how to try fix them.

2.Problem areas (

a. Shin Splint
Pains on the inside of the shins in the middle. The outisdes of my shins feel super tight and after a run feel like they're about to explode. Anything with impact of the foot hitting the ground such as skipping, running and box jumps cause the most pain.

b. Pain after olympic lifting/leg training
Legs feel like an old mans set of legs trying to sit down/stand up or get in and out of the car. The majority of pain is to inside and outside of the middle of my knee and sometimes near the top of the shins. After very long periods of walking I experience these pains.

c. Nerve pains down my arms after shoulder exercises, mainly using barbells
After heavy shoulder work I feel this the days after. Sometimes it's not related to the training so I'm not sure where else it comes from. Physio's say it could be the superspinatus. Cleans, front squats and push presses cause the most pain.

3.My Background

2011 - Start bodybuilding training
2012 - Did very little weightlifting
2013 - Started training with a friend in his gym consistenly, bodybuilding style and made great strength progress. Also trained once a week in an strongman circuit style gym, started noticing little darts of pain down my arm during exercises that involved lifting weight in front of me then overhead (atlas stones, log lifts etc.)
2014 January - Started doing crossfit and near the end of the month I went for a run, came home and did skipping and first noticed two lumps on my shins which were extremely painful. This was when I first noticed the shin splints
2014 February - Started going to a physio who gave me sports massage all over my legs and around my shoulders. She said my mobility was terrible and all the weight lifting had made everyhing super tight. She gave me mobility exercises which I did for a while
2014 March - Started feeling darting pains regularly during cleans, thrusters, push press etc. If I did high volume of these exercises my arms would get so bad they'd be numb after training for nearly an hour. The physio said it was related to my suparspinatus.
2014 May - I started training with an olympic lifting coach once a week for 2 hours at a time. He showed me the correct technique which helped a lot as I noticed less pain but they still happened once in a while if my form worsened
2014 July - After the oly lifting sessions my legs would get extremely sore around the inside and outside of the middle of the knee. My shin splints would also get worse
2014 August - I went to 2 different physios. The second one used dry needling to try loosen up my calves and fix the nerve problems in my superspinatus. I went for 5 visits and then started a mobility programme along with rest from training for nearly a month
2014 September - Started back training along with the mobility work and felt ok. I left leg work out of my training
2014 October - Started back doing some oly lifting, heavy shoulder work and some leg training and all injuries are still there. Shins are sore after impact, even long distance walks. The inside and outisde of my legs are sore after training and the nerve in my arms are still causing discomfort

4.Bad Mobility Areas:

-Calves and ankles according to my physios
-Shoulder getting into snatch, cleans, front squats and pressing positions
-Wrists don't go too far back without feeling sore

5.Mobility work I currently do

I do a lot of mobility work now almost daily, I choose 1-2 exercises per problem area and stretch for 30-120 seconds each depending on the area. Here's the list of stretches I choose from -

So, after all of that, has anyone experienced these issues or have advise on who to talk to? I've tried different physios and talked to people involved heavily in sports and nobody could give definite answers on how to solves them or even figure out exactly what was the root of these injuries.

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Old 11-20-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
Alastair Bland
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Re: Shin splints, knee pain from oly lifting and nerve pains in my arms - a walking list of injuries

Injuries are frustrating. I also am having what seems to be nerve pain in my arms and hands. I was told by a massage therapist that my pec minor muscle is tight (from cycling) and needs to be loosened to alleviate compression of the nerve bundles that pass through the front of the shoulder. This is related to poor posture, too(another side effect of cycling). I can't say loosening/stretching this muscle pair has helped me MUCH but perhaps you could try.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:57 AM   #3
Phil Washlow
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Re: Shin splints, knee pain from oly lifting and nerve pains in my arms - a walking list of injuries

Heres what I would try in combination with everything you are already doing.
Legs: I think your feet might be tight and weak.
Lacrosse ball smash your feet, spend a lot of time walking and jumping rope barefoot, take it slow but I think you may need to strengthen your feet.

I believe it is a combination of being tight in the chest, supraspinatus, and upper traps while being weak in your lower traps, rhomboids, infraspinatus etc. If you have access to crossover symmerty use it, otherwise you should do a lot of ring rows and/or barbell rows, be conscious of pulling your shoulderblades back and down as you are trying to target your mid back. Along with strengthening your mid back, continue to smash and stretch your pec major/minor and supraspinatus.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
Robert Shopshear
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Re: Shin splints, knee pain from oly lifting and nerve pains in my arms - a walking list of injuries

Knee pain I agree comes with lack of strength along with some tight muscles. A lot of knee pain can come with tight hamstrings.

For the shin splints this has been something I have been struggling for some time. It started for me after a stint with minimalist shoes and crossfit. Running it was great (for nothing more than a few miles) as it helped correct some bad form I had.

I continued to use it during crossfit and developed some bad shin splits that ultimately never or have not fully gone away. I backed off on impact (jump rope, jumps, heavy running) as this what really flared it up.

My Dr and a couple PTs essentially said the same thing. My calves are tight, my ankles are tight and I need to break that up as well as strengthen my calves. My legs are decent but my calves have not kept up.

My Dr did recommend minimalist running but did tell me to not use them during cross training. He is a sports Dr and is all over minimalist shoes when used correctly and insisted they would help build strength.

Partly he also said I may just need to really lay off certain things for awhile to give them a good rest. I also play a lot of softball and they would flare up running the bases. I laid off springing too much and a lot of it started to subside. It does have a tenancy to flare up mildly but overall it can be a combination of things from feed, calves, ankles, and other muscles that can be leading to the issue.

It is a long road for some of us, I still struggle with it no matter what I do but just need to keep at it.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:02 AM   #5
Phil Washlow
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Location: Westchester  IL
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Re: Shin splints, knee pain from oly lifting and nerve pains in my arms - a walking list of injuries

I definitely agree with your doctor to use minimalist shoes but not during cross training, yet. As your feet get stronger and your symptoms subside you could add them back in. To try and rebuild your feet there is an excellent series available on youtube and mobilitywod by Brian Mackenzie and KStar with protocol for rebuilding your feet.
For the knee pain I would spend some time smashing your quads (the link to your mobility work won't open in my browser for some reason) especially the first few inches above your kneecap. The knee pain can come from tight hamstrings, which often means weak hamstrings, have your doctors check your muscular balance btwn quad and hamstring, as a cyclist I would expect a pretty large difference, if there is one then addressing it will improve your symptoms. If you are spending time stretching your hamstrings with no results, that is another indication that the tightness is due to your body compensating for weakness, this type of tension responds well to PNF stretching. Hope some of this helps.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
Brian Smith brianisrighthere
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Re: Shin splints, knee pain from oly lifting and nerve pains in my arms - a walking list of injuries

I had shin splints pain (is that the correct way to state it?) consistently after running, box jumps, or jumping rope, basically any impact. I didn't seek medical help for it, but it has gone away and stayed away for about a year by;

- Not doing what made it hurt for about a month, then slowly eased back in
- Icing regularly, even if my shins didn't hurt
- Any time I was on the couch, I would elevate my foot and write the alphabet in the air with my toe

It's not super scientific but that's what worked for me. Good luck.
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