What are shin splints ?
Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome or MTSS respectively) is known to be scientifically as “microscopic pulling of muscle fibers away from the bone where the belly of the muscle attaches directly to the bone.” According to Solomon, Soloman and Minton (2005, p.97), Shin splints started out in literature as an injury that generates majority in runners, dancers, tennis players and other athletes causing them not only physical pain but also emotion instability. Based on their study results it was found out that shin splints are actually caused by “excessive amounts of force on the shinbones which cause small tears in the soft tissue connecting muscles to bones” which then causes muscles around the area to swell causing irritability for oneself for between a period of a day up a span of a couple weeks.
What causes shin splints
The common risk factors for getting shin splints can include inadequate stretching or warming up, wearing worn out shoes, participating in sports that have quick stops and starts, running on an uneven surface with your shoe hitting the ground at an awkward angle, etc.
How to prevent shin splints?
In order to prevent shin splints, try getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, making sure that you’re wearing the proper shoes for your workout, and making sure that you’re properly stretching before you begin a new exercise routine. By raising your feet above your heart for a couple of minutes while lying down can also provide relief. If symptoms persist or worsen there are exercises specifically designed to strengthen the muscles in the lower legs for people who have shin splints. Focusing on increasing your stride while running slowly may be all it takes to get past this condition which is common among long-distance runners. For another prevention exercise, try walking on your heels for 30 seconds and walking regular for another 30 seconds a few times a day in order to recover and better prevention shin splints.
If pain is still constant
If after treatment, the pain is still there it may be a stress fracture – which is a serious problem. A stress fracture happens when small breaks in the bone chip away from excessive pressure or over-exercising without rest leading to constant pain and soreness as well as inflammation of the surrounding tissue. Unlike a normal fracture, it’s not obvious at first you feel some ‘pinching’ type pressure but as you exercise those cracks worsen and become very painful. The only way the condition can be medically treated and prevented from worsening is by resting and varying activity levels gradually to avoid further damage that would require surgery. If you can run your fingers down the leg and find a point of pain, then it’s more likely that you have stress fracture than shin splints. Furthermore, if you’re able to feel better in the morning than when you first woke up, then it’s more than likely that you’re suffering from shin splints instead. Fortunately, there are similar treatments for both conditions. Rest is essential along with reduced training volume since the body needs time to heal properly after the cause of the injury has been dealt with.
If shin splints are a reoccurring problem
If shin splints are a reoccurring problem, you’ll want to make sure that your shoes provide proper support. There is a solution out there called orthotics (sometimes also called “custom-made insoles”). Orthotics can actually be considered nutrition for the feet and may help to treat many different problems with the feet such as shin splints. At the Madison Clinic North York, our chiropractor, Dr. Rodney will perform a gait scan (which is a computerized examination of the way you walk and stand) and if necessary (as required by some insurance plans) a casting of your foot as well. Your custom made orthotic insole is designed to your foot imprint and therefore will fit in most regular shoes that have a removable insole. The more often you wear your custom made orthotics the more benefit you will gain from them. Our provider at the Madison North York Clinic is the Orthotic Group, who offers different kind of orthotics to choose from, including orthotics designed for sports or activity.
Here at the North York Madison Sports Injury Clinic we want to provide you with the best chiropractic care possible in North York. We offer many services from chiropractic adjustments, orthotics consolations, RMT, Physiotherapy, Kinesiology and Naturopathy. Make an appointment today!