If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I suffer from an injury (shin splints) for a year now. It all started when I decided to be serious about my running, and started to do interval and hill training last year.
I have literally tried almost everything! From rest, to stretching, to exercise, strength training, physical therapists, new shoes, compression socks, insoles, trying to change my foot strike, compression sleeves, another physical therapist, painful manual treatment, more stretching, complete rest, biking, swimming, another pair of new shoes….. and, still not gone…..
I got really fed up, because I was doing everything the experts say, but I still had a lot of pain. I decided to go a bit ‘alternative’ after reading an article about walking and running barefoot or with minimal shoes. I must say, I always thought that feet needed support, but when you really think of it: we have a perfectly developed body, that has a perfect springing mechanism in our feet and lower leg, but we choose to override it with shoes that will force the feet in a different shape and constricts it so it can’t move like it naturally would.
So for about 3 weeks now, I am barefoot, and I do foot strengthening exercises almost daily. Ok, not completely barefoot, because it’s not really possible at work, I wear Vibram FiveFingers when I can’t walk barefoot. I’ve seen lots of nice minimal shoes, but they’re quite expensive and I don’t want to invest in a whole lot of shoes when I’m not convinced yet 😉
In the first couple of days, I felt some pains in my feet and some sole scraping from some real barefoot walks on pavement. But all was fine, I rested a bit when I thought it was too uncomfortable, and I continued with my exercise program I’m currently on (home strength training twice a week, swimming twice a week and bike rides to work). The idea is to eventually start running barefoot, but I’m still getting used to the walking, so I’m not rushing myself.
And now, after 3 weeks, I’m not sure if it’s the placebo effect, but I significantly feel less pain in my shins. Let’s see how it goes from here!
(I did start shockwave therapy last week, but I’m sure it can’t already work after 1 session!)