Do you have shin splints?

Shin Splints

Shin Splints

1. What are shin splints?
Shin splints, as known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is commonly (but not exclusively) suffered by runners. Shin splints can be a debilitating condition. The cause is due to a build up of tension within muscles in the back aspect of the leg which can cause what is known as a tug response on the tibia bone. The outer layer of this bone (the periosteum) is highly pain sensitive and thus this condition can be quite painful.
2. What causes shin splints?
Shin splints develop when the muscle and bone tissue (periosteum) in the leg become overworked by repetitive activity. Periosteum which can be compared to a saran wrap, surrounds the shin bone in the leg. When muscle become tired and do not function properly in the leg, they begin to pull on periosteum. As the periosteum is lifted off the bone, pain maybe felt in the leg at the front or the back.
Shin splints often occur after changes in physical activity. These can be changes in frequency (such as increasing the number of days you exercise each week), changes in duration and intensity (such as running longer distances or on hills).

Other factors include:

  1. Having flat feet (pes planus) or abnormally rigid arches in the feet/li>
  2. Wearing improper (high heel) or worn-out footwear
3. What treatment options are available for shin splints?
Soft tissue therapy, physical therapy modalities (IFC, TENS, Ultrasound), custom made orthotics, medical acupuncture, laser therapy and rehabilitation; all of which have been demonstrated to be effective treatments for shin splints.

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