I have a history of injuries, and am no stranger to dealing with them. I had shin splints that developed into stress fractures a year ago. After healing, I have so far managed to prevent their re-occurrence, but at times, I can feel random pain in my tibia. I have been doing careful warm-ups and stretching, and so hope to continue prevention.

I have a strange pain in my left calf, along the back side. It is always in the same exact place, and normally subsides after a while. It hurts the worst when I take a step, and have never noticed it when running, only after running. I don't notice it when standing or sitting. I can't figure out what is causing this. It feels like muscle pain.

I have two runners knees, and this is developing into quite a serious issue. Two weeks ago I went into complete rest, took a lot of painkillers, and iced multiple times a day. After a week I felt like I was at about 95%, weaned myself off painkillers, and went back to training. For the next week for training I continued icing, and rarely took painkillers. This week the pain is back. It has changed to cover a larger area, travelling into my thighs at times, and sometimes the pain is so great I have difficulty distinguishing where it is coming from. I am not uncomfortable, I can still walk and run, I PR'd last night on my 200m, but I am in constant pain. I've heard that runner's knee is basically just swelling caused by rubbing of the patella against the thighbone. It is not a worrisome pain, it is just painful. I have always had weak knees that popped or bothered me when doing lunges and split squats, and I can no longer do either with a very heavy weight. I have only a month to go before the biggest competition of my life, and I refuse to miss out on this. What should I do?

I have looked into k-tape and braces for competition, but don't feel like either would be very helpful. The only thing that makes me feel better is ice and painkillers.

  • Lately on doctor's orders, Ive been recovering from some heel pain by stretching 2-3 times a day. Also, after a few years of studying about running in my spare time I think 50-90% of your running needs to be easy or you should cross training 1-3 days a week too. Also, PRs should not be set during a regular training session unless doing a practice race is the workout and the main component of it - followed by a rest day. (Did I say rest?) Rest! Run long and easy too :) This is a comment because xCodeZone is right :)
    – Jason
    Sep 23, 2016 at 23:18
  • Ask another question on what routines should complement your main 200m speed workouts and what amounts of rest.
    – Jason
    Sep 23, 2016 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


Do not do any self-diagnosis. Consult a musculoskeletal specialist and get yourself diagnosed. Never assume anything, as similar symptoms may be because of different reasons.If given proper attention at the right time, any issue can be fixed.

  • 1
    I am stuck with self diagnosis, because my medical care is in the hands of my mother who thinks that sore knees are basically a joke, and that I'm an idiot to try and workout, because I'm a girl. I have tried asking to be taken to a professional, and between rolling her eyes at me and complaining about the cost, I've given up.
    – Hollis
    Sep 21, 2016 at 1:33
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    You need to sit and talk to her again, and if possible show her the posts. She may think we are stupid as well, but she needs to accept that it's not 1920 anymore and girls do way more things now a days. As her if she'd like to see you in pain for ever? The problem with self-diagnosis is, you'll never know the root cause, that can be detailed through a professional one. If talking to your mom is not helping, talk to some family member, teacher or school counselor and see if it can help. I wish you the best and hope you heal soon.
    – xCodeZone
    Sep 21, 2016 at 1:56
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    The problem is that although she is aware of my pain, because sometimes I can't help but take in a sharp breath, limp, or bend over oddly to preserve my legs, it isn't a constant or problematic pain. Earlier today I could hardly walk, but after some ice this afternoon, I was able to workout for half an hour, and I feel great! Other than knowing what the root cause actually is, I have studied what the problem could be carefully, and my workouts and form are not hurting me. I don't want to cost her money either.
    – Hollis
    Sep 21, 2016 at 2:11

No matter what I, or anyone else recommends, in the end, your decision should be based on your pain tolerance and the risk of further serious injury. At a minimum, you should consult a professional for a proper diagnosis if you haven’t already. Having said all that, I’ve been in your situation while participating in a different sport. I chose the same modalities you have (ice and pain killers), and, it allowed me to compete. I also added stretching before and after my event(s) and made sure to get plenty of rest in between training sessions. In addition, I did find K-Tape helpful, at least psychologically, but, that may be due to the extent of my injury and its location. You may not get the same results.

In the end, you’ll need to assess what competing in the event means to you in the context of a potentially chronic injury. Weigh that against taking time off to fully address an injury to prevent it from becoming chronic, and, the ability to race pain free in the future. Only you can make that choice.

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