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Possible leg injury/worried about ability to exercise

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Old 10-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Possible leg injury/worried about ability to exercise

I have been doing well on my weight loss program. Am more than 3 months in and have not slipped up yet - maintained the calorie target and am exercising 5 days a week for at least 1.5 hours each time.

My main exercise is walking. I get up at 4 a.m. and am up to 5.5 miles/day. My neighborhood is perfect for walking, with some flat parts and some inclines and dips.

On Monday, I walked super-fast. As fast as possible. That evening, the lower part of my right leg hurt and it was painful to put weight on it. It was better when I woke up this morning, but half-way through the walk I started to feel pain again. It hurt all morning, but feels ok today.

While I'm not a doctor, I am worried that I might have ended up with a small stress fracture in my lower tibia. I want to rest for a day or two, but am so scared to do so because I always fall off the wagon when the exercising stops. I'm going to try walking tomorrow, but am so fearful that the pain will come back.

Have any of you gone through an injury when exercising and had to stop for a while? How were you able to maintain your diet?
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
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More than likely it's a shin splint. Not that it couldn't be a stress fracture, but I doubt it, even from super-fast walking. If you're really worried, you may want to go to your doctor and have an x-ray. With either injury, I would advise a few days off with ice and elevation. I don't think you are going to fall off the wagon from a few days with no exercise. If you are doing well with your diet, just keep continuing to do what you're doing, and pick back up on your exercise when your pain is gone or greatly diminished. Have confidence in your ability to do this!!
Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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I agree with the icing. Also what has helped me before is that you "draw" your ABCs in the air with your foot - be careful, you will feel it.

If it is shin splints, I know I have always needed some time off - walking/running on them makes it worse for me.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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I've had them too - that's exactly what they feel like (what you're describing). It would help to rest for awhile, and also when you start walking again, to aim for part of your walk not being on hard surface (are there trails in your neighbourhood?)

Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I got up today to walk, but decided not to risk it. I work in a very long building, so during a break I walked the whole building and back - about 1.25 miles - and didn't feel pain, so tonight I went to the gym.

I decided to get on the elliptical for half an hour because I didn't think that would bother my leg, and it didn't. But boy was I tired! Then I tried the treadmill on a very slow speed and tiny incline and did ok. So hopefully things are ok.

I am going to rest tomorrow, since it's my usual rest day. I will try walking again on Friday morning. No walking trails in my neighborhood. My block is perfect for walking, but it is on a concrete surface. I am also on a hill and have the option of doing some hill walking, but worry about going down the hill because I think downhill is what has affected my leg.

I read about shin splints and wasn't sure if that's what it was because the pain wasn't in my shin area but lower - a couple of inches above the ankle. But as I said, I'm no doctor!

Thanks for the encouragement. Exercising really is what drives my weight loss and being "good" about not overeating, so it's important that I am able to exercise regularly.
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