1. What is shin splints? and how to treat them?
Are you a runner or maybe a triathlete and your shins hurt after day to day at the office? Well This could be the known cause of Shin Splints. The cause of this injury is the stress produced in the tibia (shin bone) and adjacent connective tissues, producing inflammation, pain, and inability to continue running or even walking! If you want an optimal recovery, a Sports Physio in Manchester is what you need.
Shin Splints refer to the inflammation of the periosteum. The periosteum is a vascular layer of connective tissue that covers the bone and serves as an insertion for some tendons and fascial connections. The pain has been described as burning in the tibia when starting to run and decreases when the activity ceases.
In addition, the pain occurs on the inside of the tibia and sometimes radiates throughout the front part of the leg. This injury does not have a specific recovery time; it can vary depending on its cause. However, the attention of a professional on time will have an important role in the recovery time. Sports physiotherapy is an excellent therapeutic alternative to reduce the time of return to activities in optimal conditions.
According to Don E. Detmer in 1986, there are three types of chronic Shin Splints, which can be diagnosed by imaging. These are:
- Type I: Tibial microfracture, which is a reaction to repetitive bone stress.
- Type II: Tibial periostitis, this is produced by chronic avulsion of the periosteum, specifically in the periosteum-fascial junction, in the same way as a consequence of repetitive stress.
- Type III: Chronic compartment syndrome.
2. What causes shin splints?
This classification of Detmer is accurate for chronic cases. In the most acute cases, this injury can occur for various reasons, such as:
- Muscle rigidity or shortening of the muscles of the leg.
- Traction of the fascia and tendons in its insertion area due to inadequate plantar support.
- Increased external tibial torsion and excessive rotation of the hip.
- Direct trauma in a constant way in the anterior part of the tibia.
- Changes in the surfaces on which it runs, such as hard surfaces, surfaces with high inclination or uneven terrain.
- Excessive training and lack of rest between workouts.
In few occasions this injury requires surgery; generally the shin splints injury has a quick recovery if an appropriate physiotherapy treatment is applied. That is why in MySportsInjury Clinic provides a thorough evaluation and assessment of such injury, with an individualised treatment plan aimed at correcting the problems that caused the injury.
3. How to treat the Shin Splints Injury?
There are some methods to relieve pain and try to improve the situation of this injury without going to a Manchester Sports physio, however, we recommend assisting a health professional to assess the damage in your leg and plan an appropriate intervention.
- The intensity and load of training should be reduced as the pain appears, in some cases, the activity must be completely stopped in order to avoid further damage.
- To reduce the pain you can place ice for 10-15 minutes at the end of training and during the night.
- Similarly, many experienced doctors recommend the use of anti-inflammatories in the first week that you begin to experience pain.
- Sports massage, to unload the muscles of the leg and relax all adjacent tissues.
- Use silicone heel cups, they cushion the blows at the moment of running and adequately transmit the forces towards the tibia. These sills should be made to order, to avoid other foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
During the visit to a specialist in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, you will get the attention of a body movement specialist, who will perform an analysis of your biomechanics, in order to improve any movement in your body that may cause an imbalance and cause an injury.
In addition to this, a Sports injury clinic will plan a training according to your injury, and will increase the demand of it progressively and as the condition of the injury improves.
Also, you will receive a deep tissue massage, which aims to improve the elasticity of the tissues through the viscoelastic properties of the muscles.
On the other hand, you will receive information and education about the movement, so that you can carry out your training and your daily activities in an appropriate way and, thus, reduce the incidence of injuries such as Shin Splints and other injuries.
If you are suffering from any injury, our team of physiotherapist in our Manchester sports injury clinic will be very happy to assess you and treat you to recover from it to be back to your best soon!
Book your appointment here