Shin Splints is a catch-all term used to refer to exercise-induced leg pain but there are two that are more common than the rest. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is classified as posterior shin splints which involve mainly the tibialis posterior muscle with pain along the posteromedial aspect of the tibia. MTSS can affect 1 in 5 runners, but also military recruits, dancers/gymnasts, etc. Tibialis Anterior Strain (TAS) is classified as anterior shin splints because it involves the tibialis anterior & other anterior muscles with pain presenting in the anterolateral aspect of the leg. This is a typically a repetitive injury associated with drastic increase in volume or intensity, uneven or hard surfaces, poor shoes or conditioning, or inability to warm up or recover adequately.
Common Symptoms include
Anterolateral/posteromedial leg pain that worsens with activity
Palpable nodule or lump along the tibia
Hyper pronation of inadequate gait pattern; including shoe choice
Imaging of early and uncomplicated MTSS is often unnecessary.
Imaging is appropriate in the presence of red flags, focal tenderness, pain at rest, or when the patient fails to improve with a reasonable trial of conservative care. Early on our top priority is to decrease and manage pain and maintain range of motion in the lower extremities. Tools like shockwave therapy and Winback Tecartherapy can enhance our soft tissue techniques to help you get rid of pain faster and shorten your recovery time dealing with shin splints.
Here’s the tricky part about shin splints though. A large majority of patients affected by this are told to only stretch or rest but I think we can do more. We are not setting ourselves up for success if that’s where treatment stops as you should be assessing gait and biomechanical components aspects as well as improving the ability of your lower extremity to handle load utilizing a specific and unique rehabilitation program. Instead of only hoping that the pain goes away, finding the root cause of the problem is what’s most important in giving long-lasting relief.
If you’re suffering from Shin Splints and want to see how we’re different, give us a call today at 727-228-3030 or schedule an appointment online at strengthchiro.com