OT: Need help from people with medical or athletic training background

Submitted by Michigan4Life on January 24th, 2011 at 4:44 PM
I've been playing pick up basketball games for a couple of weeks. While playing, my lower shins and bottom arch of my feet are really sore whenever I tried to push myself running at the court. With a short rest, the pain subside, but whenever I play, it comes back quickly and it is painful for me to run hard. I tried resting and icing but it does me no good since it keeps coming up when I come back to the gym and play basketball. Any advice or help?



January 24th, 2011 at 4:48 PM ^

I have no medical knowledge nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but perhaps you should try a different pair of shoes. I had the same issue last summer and switched shoes and my shins/feet stopped hurting.


January 24th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

Shoes are important, so is stretching and warm up. 

Do foot inversions and eversions to help limber up the muscles on the outside of your calf. These muscles extend from your knee, run basically behind your heel to the bottom of your foot, and help give you that push off the floor.

Id recommend rest, heat and maybe some aspirin, along with changing your shoes. It could be that your basketball shoes are just too high on the achilles tendon producing inflammation and local tenderness.


January 24th, 2011 at 6:09 PM ^

This is actually right.  I had calf problems (severe tightening where I couldn't move them) and I was told by doctors to never put heat on them.  Course I never did anything about it so I can't really tell you the result (I will never give up snowboarding, period).


January 24th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

That might be the problem.  Support breaks down in your shoes after using them for a certain amount of time/miles.  They're like tires - you can't use them forever.

Getting a new pair (even if it's the same style shoe) might help.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

The sole and the insole of the shoes are what wear down/get compacted.  There's not as much cushion as there once was.  Buying a new insole might lessen the problem slightly, but that won't get rid of the problem altogether.

FWIW, I think running shoes are typically supposed to be replaced every 500 miles.  If you're exercising or playing basketball frequently, you might have reached that plateau a while ago - and all the jumping/cutting you're doing on the basketball floor probably doesn't help.  And I'm not even sure that basketball shoes are as durable as running shoes.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:09 PM ^



I would love to buy new basketball shoes but I'm pretty broke since I have to pay for grad schools and rents/books.  I can't really do it until I have a real job which sucks because I love playing basketball.  I've been frustrated by the constant pain and was really limited on what I can do on the court.


January 24th, 2011 at 8:10 PM ^

I know that you are getting a lot of advice, but much of it seems to be inaccurate. I am a Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer, (I know that makes it sound like I am bragging, but I assure you I am not, I just want to qualify my comments). It his highly unlikely that this is plantar fascitis as you would have significant pain when first standing up, not worsening pain with exercise. IMO the folks who are talking about your shoes and arches are the most likely correct. However, it is virtually impossible to tell without looking at your feet especially during gait. You could try 'gellin', but I really doubt that would be effective. An excellent first step would be to try a different pair of shoes. It blows because they are expensive, but it may cure your pain right away. If that does not work, you may need to look at custom orthotics but this would need to be evaluated by a certified orthotist and again expensive. If you are going to continue to attempt to play, a gradual warm up is essential. Stretching can help also, but recent studies have shown the warm up to be more important. Take this advice for what it's worth


January 24th, 2011 at 8:30 PM ^

I do not know why I waited 34 yrs to get these..makes 100% difference in standing, walking, everything...it is worth the $, and you can reimburse it via health insurance FSA HSA etc.., if that is a program you have...ran me about 200$ but no more arch issues in my feet


January 24th, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

You're on the money for running. 500 miles is tops for a support shoe, and it drops drastically if you don't need as much support.

Basically you go through two pairs of running shoes for a high competition level season (i.e. HS varsity or college), and two or three in the offseason when you tone down the miles. No clue how this relates to basketball shoes, but you can take that FWIW.


January 24th, 2011 at 7:34 PM ^

this really depends. People have different foot types. My reccomendation is to ask for a PT who is well respected for feet. They can tell you much better than even the workers at a running store. Adding cushion to a pronated foot (one that collapses) is detrimental, so figuring out than type of foot you have is key. A supinated foot (stay on the outsides of the foot generally) is a rigid foot, which provides spring but fails to cushion and can lead to numerous foot, knee, and hip problems.


January 24th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

Plantar fasciitis (aka Rasheed Wallace/Eli Manning Disorder) is when connective tissue on the soles of your feet are inflamed. There is a similar layer of connective tissue separating muscle compartments in your lower leg, that's what normally gets described as "shin splints". In both cases, you need to stop working the muscles for a while so the swelling can go down. You can expedite the process with icing, but your muscles will chill a lot faster than the fascia will- so don't ice for a prolonged period of time.


January 24th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

In an absolute worst case scenario, you could get a fasciotomy, where they go in and cut away some of the fascia so the pressure is relieved. That's what Hakeem Nicks had done this year. Somehow I doubt you want surgery, though, so just try and rest for a few weeks.

EDIT: I understand you said you tried rest and icing, but you really need to stop doing strenuous work (planting and pushing off) for multiple weeks before it goes down. The constant work of walking around makes it tough to get good, prolonged rest.

Jeffy Fresh

January 24th, 2011 at 5:07 PM ^

Fasciotomies are for acute compartment syndrome, which he most certainly does not have, and chronic exertional compartment syndrome, which again is a rare entity.  Where is your pain in your shins?  And in your feet?  You likely have two problems: plantar fasciitis and shin splints.  Look up some stretching exercises to do for these problems.  Anti-inflammatories like Motrin can help as well.  It is hard to diagnose you over the interwebs but common things being common, this is probably what is ailing you.  I agree with other posters that you need new shoes as well.  You can't wear the same ones for 2 years and expect them to offer you any support.  I am an orthopaedic surgeon for what it's worth, and as a disclaimer if you don't get better with conservative measures like the stretching exercises and rest you should get checked out.

Slippery Rock …

January 24th, 2011 at 7:29 PM ^

Jeffy Fresh lays down some truthness here.  Another thing to consider is just some tendonitis or fasciitis if you just recently started exercising/360-tomahawkin-fools.  In summary: Motrin, stretching(if it is too sore to stretch, try stretching in the shower), and rest.  FWIW I'm a 3rd year med student, and if your in the bizz, you know that means jack S***, but if your not you might take my advice.


P.S.  MaizedandBlue is right in that RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) is for decreasing inflammation acutely, emphasis on acutely.  Heat packs are not the devil, they really do help if a muscle is irritated/spasming.  Who here hasn't had a sore muscle and taken a hot shower to loosen it up?


Waters Demos

January 24th, 2011 at 5:21 PM ^

in your syllogism, I'll have to go ahead and agree with you.

Except if you're suing or being sued.

Or establishing a business.  Or have a tax issue.  Or want to draft a will.  Or . . .

But I imagine that helping people with injury/illness/saving lives is probably a lot more satisfying at the end of the day. 


January 24th, 2011 at 5:55 PM ^

In this day and age, you need to REALLY love being a doctor (many do) or a lawyer (few do) if you're going those routes.  More money can be made elsewhere.  You've got to either really love playing god while getting buttf*cked by insurance companies (doctor) or reading boring sh*t (lawyer). 


January 24th, 2011 at 5:44 PM ^

really leaning towards its not plantar fascitis. i had it my Jr year of HS. I went from swimming where I went to state back to my bread and butter baseball all in the same week. All pounding my feet took after being in the water for the past 4 month made the pain so bad that I couldnt even get out of bed with out walking on my tip toes. If hes even able to put a little pressure on his feet with out feeling like he wants to cut his feet off then my best guess is hes probably got shin splints exspecially when he hasnt been doing that hard of work with his legs in a while. Just my guess from past sport injuries.


January 24th, 2011 at 6:34 PM ^

The flexors in the sole of your foot don't really get used when you're swimming... I swam all four years in high school, then did track right after, never had foot problems. I did get shin splints one year, but that was more a function of taking up long jump than anything else. Swimming is much more punishment on your leg and shoulder muscles than anything else.

Chippewa Blue

January 24th, 2011 at 5:08 PM ^

Impossible to tell you exactly without seeing it, listening to you describe more in person but like others said could be shin splints. New shoes, streching and noticeing and making adjustments to your gait if needed. Try some stuff and if the problem stays see your doctor or a sports medicine specialist.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

If you visit a physical therapist and/or go to a well equipped running store, they might be able to address any weaknesses you have in your walking/running form.  You may be overpronating.  You may also be landing on your heel when you run, which increases the pressure on your joints and shins.  They might be able to suggest a change to your running stride and/or give you some ideas for proper shoes/inserts.

FWIW, I used to have a lot of pain in one knee and suffer from shin splints.  I adjusted my running stride last year, which eradicated the shin splints and I haven't had much pain in my knee at all.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

this used to happen to me a lot.


things that helped...

  • stretching well beforehand and warming up on a bike
  • breaking in the shoes
  • tying the shoes tight, but not too tight
  • staying hydrated
  • massaging the calves once pain had set in
  • keeping the muscles warm (by either wearing long pants or longer socks)

its all pretty common stuff.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:29 PM ^

A specialty store will check your stride to determine if you're a pronator or a supinator and fit you with a pair of shoes for your foot / stride type.  Also, try out some compression socks.  If you go for a good pair of compression socks or sleeves, they will help with shin splints. 


January 24th, 2011 at 5:18 PM ^

If you aren't careful, that's the level of injury that can knock you out of, for example, an NFC Championship game.

But seriously folks, I used to experience similar pain when I played baseball.  It might feel structural, but stretching and warming up might help more than you would think.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:44 PM ^

I dont know if anyone else said this but buddy you have what is called shin splints you need high ankle tape and ankle braces also great soles can help


January 24th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

What you have is called posterior tibial tendonitis. It is the muscle that runs behind the medial malleolus at your ankle and makes the arch in your foot.

At times, especially with jumping and other excerises that tighten your Achilles tendon, your foot will pronate more to compensate with the ground reactuve forces.

Best treatment is to buy a shoe called a motion control shoe with an inflexible "shank (the middle of the bottom of the shoe)" and to strech your Achilles tendon. If you rid of the tightness in your Achilles and with proper shoe gear, you should be able to control excessive stress on the muscle. (I work in the podiatry field, btw)