Stop Shin Splints in its Tracks With Massage Therapy

Shin splints can be an annoying condition that occur mostly in athletes and those weekend warriors stressing the legs far beyond what they are capable at that time. It usually occurs at the onset of training and gradually appears or it can also present itself after one bout of excessive exercise.

For example, runners can develop anterior shin splints. Also it can happen when a person decides to¬† take a long hike up and down hills on a Saturday, when he or she hasn’t done anything physically for a long time.

How do shin splints occur?
They often occur on both of the lower legs. The anterior tibialis muscle (which is the muscle that runs along the lateral side of the shin or tibia bone) is stressed. This muscle is responsible for lowering the foot during heel strike and it can be susceptible to too much strain which can lead to injury.

Some common reasons for the condition

  • Rapid stopping and starting in any activity
  • Excessive walking or running downhill
  • Starting a running program
  • Running or walking on surfaces that are too hard or wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support for the force exerted on the legs
  • Having flat feet and over pronating while engaging in any activity
  • Too much jumping and overloading the legs and feet

What happens are micro tears occur in the tibialis muscle leading to inflammation, irritation and trauma. The symptoms usually occur gradually at the onset of exercise, with a burning sensation and pain worsening the next day.

Because of the tearing and inflammation, the area can form fibrotic tissue that can cause abnormal tension in the muscle and that causes weakness and restricted movement.

It’s very important to deal with this condition when you first see the signs, because untreated anterior shin splints could possibly lead to a stress fracture in the tibia itself.

How can massage help?
First of all, this is one condition that you can’t continue exercising while you are receiving treatment. To properly heal, it’s necessary to rest while having the areas affected treated.

Massage can effectively assist in healing the irritated anterior tibialis and other related muscles such as the posterior tibialis and peroneus longus which are usually very tight and can be a part of the problem.

To get back on your feet and continue being active without having this problem, is to heal properly and then implement a stretching and strengthening program to prevent any reoccurrences.

The more active you are in your own recovery by consistently doing what you are asked to do on your own, will be a big part of a successful recovery.

If you are suffering from this condition, schedule an appointment so we can help you get back to doing the things that you love pain free.