If you’re feeling achy pain along your shin bones, you may have shin splints.
Shin splints are common in runners, athletes, and people with flat arches. But just about anyone who spends time on their feet is at risk. And if they become chronic, shin splints can lead to stress fractures in the bone.
The good news is, shin splints respond well to a specific type of soft tissue treatment called Active Release Techniques. ART can quickly break up scar tissue and help restore normal function. That means less pain, less treatment, and less time away from activity.
Read on for more information about shin splints. And when you’re ready, give Dr. Keith McGahey at Eastside Chiropractic Group a call. He’s been helping people get out of pain since 1998, and chances are he can help you too.
What Are Shin Splints?
There are muscles that attach along the length of your shin bones. Shin splints occur when these muscles become injured, usually from overuse. The wear and tear on these muscles causes tiny tears to form where they attach to your shin bone. The result is inflammation and pain.
As this condition progresses, scar tissue forms around these tears. Scar tissue is stiff and weak compared to healthy tissue, and re-injures more easily. Continued activity results in more tiny tears, more scar tissue, and more pain. And the cycle continues. If enough damage occurs from repeated use, stress fractures can occur.
What Causes Shin Splints?
Shin splints are overuse injuries caused by repetitive stress on the muscles, bones and joints of the lower leg. That stress can come about for a number of reasons, with a few of the more common found below:
1. Too Much, Too Soon
Shin splints can be a problem if you increase your level of activity too quickly. This is especially true for runners. If you’re new to running, or starting a new activity, try to increase your training slowly. A simple guideline – don’t increase by more than 10% per week.
2. Poor Mechanics (Not The Car Kind)
Mechanics refer to the way we move. And anything that interferes with the way we move, or causes us to move poorly, can cause injury. Tight muscles an joints in the back, hips, knees and feet can interfere with the way we move. This is called compensation, and can lead to injuries like shin splints. Over pronation is an example of moving poorly. This means that your foot rolls too far to the inside when you walk, run and jump. Over pronation is very common, and is also a common cause of shin splints.
3. Those Old Shoes… And Other Stuff
First off, if you’re going to exercise make sure you have good gear. You don’t have to buy the ‘Mercedes’ of shoes, but get something good. An injury is way more expensive. Here’s a great article from the New York Times about Choosing the Right Running Shoes (even if you’re not a runner).
Also, change up your training. Avoid running hills every day, and try to avoid hard surfaces if you can. Go to a grassy park, or look for a local trail running club. Softer, uneven surfaces like wood chips provide can help challenge and strengthen your feet and legs. They also causes a lot less pounding than running on pavement.
What Are The Symptoms of Shin Splints?
Pain from shin splints usually occurs along the inside or front edge of the shin bone. In the early stages the pain is mild. But with continued use, that pain can become more intense, and take longer to go away. Shin splints may also make the edges of your shins very tender to the touch.
Eventually your shins may ache or throb. And your pain may stick around, even when you’re not active. With poor healing, or without proper treatment, the muscles in your calf can become weak. When that happens, your shin bones start to absorb the shock your muscles used to. And that can lead to more serious injury. This is definitely not type of injury you want to ‘run through’.
Shin Splints Treatment – Nothing Beats ART!
Most treatments for shin splints are fairly passive. Creams, pain relievers, ice, massage, stretching and time away from activity are a few examples. And while these can give some relief of pain, they doesn’t address the most important issues:
- The actual injury – inflammation and scar tissue in the soft tissues around the shin.
- The cause of the injury – over pronation, tight hips, tight legs, stiff ankles/feet, etc.
Active Release treatment can quickly break up scar tissue and adhesions in the muscles around the shin. It also does a great job loosening up the muscles in the hip and leg. Chiropractic can help by improving joint motion and flexibility. It’s a great combination that works fast, which means less pain and less time away from activity.
Ready To Feel Better?
If shin splints are taking the enjoyment out of being on your feet, help is just a call or click away. Dr. McGahey of Eastside Chiropractic Group can help you get to the source of the problem and create a treatment plan to help eliminate your pain as quickly as possible.
Get Help Now!
No referral is necessary. Just call or click to schedule an appointment with Dr. McGahey. You’ll be glad you did!