You’re all set to start your new running program and get a maximum return on your workout – your credit card even got a workout with the latest sneakers and Fitbit purchase! Armed with the best intentions and the latest health gadgets what could possibly go wrong? Two words…shin splints.
What are shin splints?
Shin splints usually describes pain on the inside or outsides of your lower legs. There are many muscles that attach to the two long large bones (tibia & fibular) in your legs. Most of these leg muscles travel down and around the ankles, attaching on the feet. With overuse, or an unstable foot, it causes excessive pulling and strain, which in turn pulls the muscles away from the bones.
What causes shin splints?
Shin splints are usually caused by poor foot and leg biomechanics. Here are the most common causes of shin splints seen within our practice:
- Pronation (flat feet) or supination (high-arched feet)
- Increased activity and exercise
- Over stretching of muscles, tendons or ligaments
- Incorrect footwear
- Weight gain
What are the symptoms of shin splints?
- Sharp, needle-like hot or stabbing pain running along the inner part of the tibia
- The area is painful to touch
- Adults tend to experience pain during and/or after activity i.e. after running
- Children tend to experience pain at night or after rest
How do we treat shin splits?
In our practice, we use a variety of techniques and generally achieve a high success rate.
- Orthotic therapy which helps to redistribute forces through the foot
- Trigger point therapy or dry needling which helps to relieve knots or tight spots in the muscles
- Laser acupuncture also works on trigger points and releases tension in the muscles
- Joint mobilisation helps to ensure joints are working well and distributing load evenly
- Massage and soft tissue therapy using a massage ball can help alleviate muscle tightness
Being injured can be rough, especially when you start out with the best intentions, but don’t let it get you down – with the right treatment and prevention strategies you’ll be back on your feet and running in those new sneakers in no time.