Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fox Cities Marathon runners may have felt it; high school cross country participants are familiar with it; and it’s highly likely that newbie runners have run into problems with it – Shin Splints. Shin splints is one of the most common sports injuries and occurs in all types of runners. The pain is real, but how does it happen and how can it be treated? We will explain…

 

Conditions That May Lead to Shin Splints

Many runners consider shin splints to be one of the most painful and aggravating injuries. If you’ve had shin splints before,  you know the symptoms all too well. Sharp pain and aching occurs in a unique pattern on the lower leg.  The discomfort is mostly located on the inside of the shin just above the ankle and along the outside of the shin just below the knee. There are many reasons why shin splints occur, but the most common conditions that cause shin splints are:

  1. Poor Biomechanics and non-supportive arches – People with poor biomechanics often overwork different parts of their body. Ever hear of the term, “flat feet?” People with fallen ankles and crammed foot joints no longer absorb impact, instead the tibia and fibula in the lower leg start to absorb the impact. This torques the membrane that holds the tibia and fibula together, creating pain, discomfort and inflammation.
  2. Too Much, Too Soon – For many seasoned runners, the harsh condition training and pressure put on the feet can cause striking pain in the shins.
  3. Little Lower Leg Strength – Runners often do not pay attention to the strength of their lower legs, which is a big problem. Weakness in the posterior tibialis can lead to early fatigue and over pronation. The less leg strength you exert, the more likely you are to develop shin splints.

Treatment Options For Shin Splints

There are many temporary relief treatment options that address shin splints such as icing post-workout and a plethora of pharmaceutical remedies. These options may address the symptoms, but often mask the real problems. Here are a few equally important options for preventing and treating shin splints.

  1. Stretching Before and After Workouts – Proper stretching will help balance and support the muscles before and after running.  Muscle imbalance can lead to an altered gait during and after your run which will put abnormal stresses on your lower legs and arches.
  2. Support – Comfort and support can be the difference between you and shin splints. Foot othotics  such as medial arch supports prevent rotational torque of the tibia and fibula during your run. Higgins Chiropractic works with Moszkito to provide the best arch support for runners.
  3. Chiropractic Care – Having a qualified chiropractor evaluate you knee, hip and ankle motion is an excellent way for you to see if your body is functioning properly. At Higgins Chiropractic we can determine the source of your pain and recommend a treatment plan that will help you overcome shin splints and allow you to run with ease.

It’s a relief knowing you do not have to continue suffering from shin splints anymore. Understanding  the conditions and treatment options is your first step to running pain free. If you’ve been running with terrible shin splints for a long time contact Dr. Dan at Higgins Chiropractic now and you’ll be on your way to crossing that finish line.

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