Shin Splints Treatment- Overuse Injury and More Than Just Bone Soreness!

Shin splints are generally a runner’s worst nightmare, causing soreness along the shin bone during running. My shin splints in college were the worst!  Shin Splints are generally considered to be an overuse syndrome of the lower legs and shin (tibia). To treat shin splints, it’s important to understand that the cause of the splints has been present for a long period of time and treatment options need to include a full assessment of the entire leg during walking and running.

Causes

  1. Tibial Nerve Pain- Due to the proximity to the area the tibial nerve could be generating the majority of the pain that is perceived as the splints.
  2. Pronation- Excessive and uncontrolled dropping of the arch (pronation) creates excessive strain on the tibial bone
  3. Limited Plantar flexion- motion associated with pointing toes like a ballerina
  4. Limited hip External Range of motion- hips rotating away from the body
  5. High Ground Reaction forces- how hard your foot hits the ground

Shin splints are the general terminology to describe the repetitive overuse stress of the tibial bone resulting in inflammation of the skin of the bone called “periostitis”. The micro trauma to the bone is caused by repetitive muscle contractions on the bone. This muscle pulling on the bone increases when there are biomechanical flaws in the ankles or hips that result in increased tension on the tibial bone from higher compensatory muscle contractions by the muscles the pull on the tibial bone.

Treatment Options

  1. Fascial Manipulation of the entire leg is needed to normalize glide and slide between muscles which can result in friction and abnormal mechanics of the entire leg.
  2. Nerve glides- Insuring proper mobility of the nerves of the region
  3. Treatment of the Periosteum- As the muscle repetitively pull on the bone it creates micro trauma to the periosteum. Treatment of this periosteum is vital to a quick recovery.
  4. Hip and Ankle Rehabilitation- Corrective weak, stiff and poorly controlled ankles, hips and knees with corrective exercises.
  5. Walking and Running Analysis- Dr. Dean has performed gait analysis on runners his entire career and well as for the Chinese National team.

GET IN TOUCH WITH DR. DEAN

YOU should be able to move the way you’d like to move without experiencing pain. YOU should be able to experience freedom and energy knowing there’s nothing holding back from giving your life 110%. Dr. Dean would like to learn more about your challenges with a quick phone or email before beginning treatment. Contact him today.