Shin Splints. Did you cringe when you read those words? If you did, then you know how annoying and frustrating they are.
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), also referred to as shin splints, is caused by excessive stress to the shin bone. Running on uneven terrain or activities with constant, fast stop and go movements are typically the culprits. But what exactly are shin splints?
When excessive stress and force are constantly applied to the shin bone and the muscles in the surrounding region, pain and inflammation begin to develop. This pain should not be ignored, as more serious conditions can occur, such as stress fractures and compartment syndromes.
So how should shin splints be addressed? In many cases, chronic shin splints are due to hip weakness and instability, causing poor running mechanics. Rehabilitating and strengthening the hip along with the lower leg musculature may help speed up the recovery process as well as help prevent the likelihood of future flare-ups.
3 Common Rehab Exercises for Shin Splints:
Diagonal Step-Ups with slow eccentric step-down to starting position
Diagonal step-ups are great for working lower leg strength, with a focus on the hip.
How to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWo-8fG3hA0
Eccentric calf raises
This exercise can help build strength in the calf while building stability in the ankle. How to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2GgSoHvIXo
Ankle alphabets with Theraband
Ankle alphabets are great for working the ankle musculature in all ranges of motion. This specific exercise helps target the calf, the three major muscles that run along the shin bone. The importance of working all of these muscles is to create stability in the ankle to ensure proper running mechanics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3rvo3rpqdI
If this is a constant issue for you Chiropractic and physical therapy medicine might be necessary. Releasing and relaxing the muscles of the lower leg along with strengthening and retraining the muscles of the legs and hip can help alleviate the symptoms and decrease the chances of future occurrences of shin splints. Techniques used by chiropractors or physical therapists such as ART, GRASTON, and/or manual soft tissue manipulation can be beneficial muscle work in aiding patients to relieve muscle tension.
If you are having problems with shin splints please give us a call at 908-756-2424 or book an appointment!