What to do About Shin Splints?

new frisbee wrap

new frisbee wrap (Photo credit: Phil Denton)

 

A common problem for runners is Shin Splints. Overtraining and improper footwear may cause this injury. Runners finding themselves with Shin Splints should R.I.C.E.(rest, ice, compression and elevation) to reduce the symptoms. They should also seek the help of a physical therapist to address any biomechanical causes of their symptoms. Furthermore they should  have their shoes checked to determine if there is excessive wear and if the shoes fit properly. If  muscle balance is maintained and  mileage is built up gradually that generally allows most runners to resume running without symptoms.
What exactly are Shin Splints?
 “Shin Splints” is a  term that describes a pain in the lower part of the leg associated with running and other athletic activities. Pain may be felt in the  back (posterior) or in the front (anterior)of the lower leg. Anterior Shin Splints are more frequent than posterior. The pain  is due to tiny tears in the muscles where they are attached to the shin. Pain occurs  with activity and usually subsides with rest. It is common for beginner runners to suffer from Shin  Splints but can affect  all levels of ability and experience.
What can be done about Shin Splints?
The first remedy that a runner can do if he develops Shin Splints is to stop running for a few days to rest his leg(s). Running exercises are generally acceptable unless there is pain. These is true as well for  swimming, pool- running, biking, or using an elliptical trainer. Anti-inflammatory medication and ice treatment are also helpful. Another cause for Shin Splints can be muscle imbalances  so it is advisable to get an  evaluation and treatment by a physical therapist to check out musculoskeletal issues. The physical therapist or physician may also use massage, ultrasound, iontophoresis, or other treatment modalities to alleviate acute symptoms.
Overtraining is also a cause of Shin Splints.  Running too many miles without enough rest days in between or if too much mileage is accumulated in one week  may be also be contributing to pain symptoms.
Another factor to consider is whether the shoes used have more than 300-500 miles on them. If so, it may be time to change shoes. Alternatively, the shoes may be  new and that’s where the problem lies. Shoes should allow the right amount of motion control for pronation and should have good shock absorption. Be sure the shoes you are wearing are the correct ones for your foot.
With treatment, shin splints will disappear within a few weeks. However, if your pain persists, it is possible that there is a fracture and a doctor should be consulted.
How Do I Prevent Shin Splints From Coming Back?
1) Resume running but slowly and with a slow build up.
2) Run on softer surfaces if possible.
3) Take rest days and incorporate cross-training activities.
Running and other sports  including basketball, football, soccer, skiing, and gymnastics put high demand on the knee and may lead to knee damage such as ACL tears. The state of the art physical therapy solution, LEGTUTOR, was originally designed to treat lower limb injuries and knee and hip replacement surgery however it is also used to strengthen knee muscles prior knee surgery. The LEGTUTOR is a comfortable ergonomically designed  brace that is  strategically placed and contains speed sensors that record three dimensional movements. They are connected to a computerized set of exclusive rehabilitation games  that allow the patient to exercise range of motion, speed and accuracy of movement. Physical/Occupational therapists monitor the progress made by the patient and subsequently create a customized exercise program for him. The LEGTUTOR and its sister devices (HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR and 3DTUTOR) also treat patients who ave suffered from a stroke, brain/spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s, MS, CP and other upper and lower limb injuries or surgeries.
Currently in use in leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics the TUTOR system can be used by adults and children from the age of 5 and up. Fully certified by the FDA and CE the TUTORs are also available for use in the patient’s home through telerehabilitation.
See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.
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One response to this post.

  1. […] What to do About Shin Splints? (handtutorblog.wordpress.com) […]

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