Sports Therapy for Shin Splints

Sports Therapy for Shin Splints

Participants who are into running sports often experience shin splints. ‘Shin splints’ is common diagnosis given when someone is suffering from pain in the front of their legs and is often associated with running. There are two types of shin splints which can occur in two different regions of leg, posterior and anterior.

One common cause of shin splints is periostitis. Periostitis is an inflammation of the periosteum. Periostitis results from an overuse injury that usually develops gradually over a period of time from weeks to months. Originating on the tibia, periosteum serves as an attachment site for the muscles. Muscle overuse causes the periosteum to pull away from the tibia causing inflammation.

What Causes Shin Splints?
The most common cause is overuse or overtraining associated with poor foot and leg biomechanics. Shin splints can caused by a number of factors which are mainly biomechanical (abnormal movement patterns) and errors in training. In simple words, shin splints are caused by overstraining muscles attach attach to your shin.

Some of the most common causes of shin splints are listed below:

  • Poor core stability
  • Weak quadriceps, foot arch muscles
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Running on hard or angled surfaces
  • Poor knee flexion alignment
  • Poor buttock control in the stance phase
  • Tight calf muscles, hamstrings
  • Increasing your training too quickly
  • Overpronation of feet

Usually, shin pain arises from a combination of three structures – muscles, shin bone (tibia), and tenoperiosteum.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shin Splints?
Depending on the exact cause, the pain may be located along either side of the shinbone or in the muscles. The area may be painful to touch. Shin splints cause dull, aching pain in the front region of the lower leg.

A professional physiotherapist can guide you with respect to how much exercise you can and should do.

What Are The Treatment Methods?
Treatment involves reducing pain and inflammation, identifying and correcting training errors and biomechanical problems. It’s imperative to restore muscles to their original condition through specific stretching, exercising and massaging techniques.

Your physiotherapist will first apply the PRICE principles of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation to reduce initial pain. Then he may ask you to apply a cold therapy and compression wrap to the painful area of the shin for 10 minutes every hour initially, reducing frequency to 3 or 4 times a day as symptoms improve.

In some instances, if the pain in your legs does not respond to foot orthoses and physical therapy modalities, immobilization will be required. Immobilization is accomplished with a removable or walking cast / boot or a non-removable fiberglass cast. Compression bandages or kinesiotherapy taping prior to or following an athletic event or workout may be extremely beneficial. Compression can help reduce recovery time.

Always remember, your choice of footwear is also important since different running shoes and cleats / turf shoes have different degrees of support and motion control. If you’re into any kind of sports which require a lot running and after which if you feel pain in or around your shin region, then you should approach our professional sports therapists in Edmonton. They are professionals in all kinds of therapies mostly related to the physical aspects of the body.