Shin Pain Treatment


Do you suffer from painful shins? If you’re living or working in Cottesloe, East Fremantle, Mosman Park and Fremantle we would love to help you! 

Description:


The condition known as ‘shin-splints’ , or otherwise known as ‘Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome’ involves an over-use scenario of the associated muscular group. Two variations of shin-splints are possible: ‘anterior shin-splints’ which involves the Tibialis anterior muscle at the front of the leg, as well as ‘posterior shin-splints’ which involves the Tibialis posterior muscle at the inner and back part of the leg.

Both of these muscles function in response to the ‘rolling-in’ of the foot whilst we are walking. When the foot is trying to clear the ground, these muscles fire to lift the whole foot up. If a person is not walking at a mechanically efficient level and the arch is rolling-in and flattening too rapidly, then these muscles may be called upon to work harder than normal. As a result, fatigue sets in, leading to inefficient force production. Micro-tearing of the soft tissue and therefore an inflammatory reaction in the muscles then results. The muscle is also wrapped in a fascial covering which restricts the swelling associated with the inflammatory response, creating a ‘choking-off’ of the blood supply to the involved muscles.

Incidence:

The scenario that typically brings on shin-splints is a sedentary individual that suddenly starts running or walking long distances. Repetitive stress with increased intensity and duration of activity quickly leads to shin splints because the tendons and muscles are unable to absorb the impact of the shock force as they become fatigued. The impact is made worse by running on uneven terrain, uphill, downhill.

Causes and contributing factors:

  • Sudden overuse or increase in activity
  • Underlying poor foot mechanics – excessive pronation
  • Weak muscles from lack of activity
  • Recent shoe-wear change or improper footwear
  • Tight calf musculature

Symptoms:

The symptoms associated with shin splints may vary. Pain is usually noted over the inside lower half of the shin bone. In some cases swelling and redness over the inside of the shin may also be present. Typically, the pain comes on at the start of exercise and often eases as the session continues, only to return after activity and may be worse the next morning. Lumps and bumps may also be felt along the inside of the shin bone.

Treatment:

  • Control inflammation in the acute phase: rest/stop activity that initiated the damage, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, Ultrasound therapy
  • Stretching and strengthening
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture/dry needling provides cure for shin splints
  • Strapping and orthotics to control poor foot mechanics
  • Change shoe-wear