If you have ever had shin splints, you know how excruciating they can be. You try all sorts of treatments but it seems like the only thing that helps is rest. The problem is, most of us (especially athletes) cannot just sit around. Fortunately, most cases of shin splints can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Shin splints are usually characterized by pain along the front or inside of the shin bone (depending on which muscle is being irritated). The pain will often run clear to the ankle or foot, but nearly always involves the muscles and connective tissues on the inside back of the knee. The pain is usually caused by microscopic tearing and subsequent scarring of these various tissues (see FASCIAL ADHESIONS). Some of the causes of this scar tissue include…….
- Poor everyday footwear such as “flats” or flip flops.
- Poor athletic footwear (many running shoes or track shoes have little or no support.)
- Working, living, playing, or training on concrete or asphalt.
- Muscle imbalance (particularly having quadriceps that are overpowering the hamstrings).
- Overtraining (too much exercise, or too much exercise of a certain kind.)
- Flat feet or falling arches.
Shin splints can typically be completely alleviated in 1-3 in-office visits (with an extensive home stretching routine). It is my experience that once shin splints are dealt with properly (dealing with the fascial adhesions and, if warranted — good orthotics), they do not return. However, keep in mind that any of the above mentioned factors that are not addressed can cause a relapse of the symptoms.