Shin Splints

by | Dec 16, 2016 | Biomechanics, Injury Prevention

Shin splints?? Been told to rest and it will get better?….. Wrong ??

Shin splints are an adaptation to your biomechanics, and therefore a product of an issue further along the chain. They are a symptom of a whole chain of dysfunction, and cannot be fixed without figuring out why they got there in the first place (pretty much like every other pain in the body!!).

So, “shin splints”, medically known as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), is a repetitive strain injury, caused by repetitive trauma to the soft tissue around the tibia (shin bone). At worst, it can cause a stress fracture at the tibia, at best inflammation to the attachments to the periosteum (outer sheath of the bone) due to repeated trauma. Mostly this is from a lack of shock absorption through the tibia and surrounding structures. Some causes of this are below:

  • Poor glute function (either one or both sides)
  • Incorrect muscular firing patterns
  • Pelvic misalignment
  • Mechanical and hormonal changes of pregnancy
  • Compensation for old injuries
  • Flat feet (pes planus), loss of arches in one or both feet
  • Incorrect footwear (not enough cushioning, not doing shoelaces up properly, too much or not enough arch support)
  • Hypermobility and EDS
  • Recurrent ankle strains, asymmetry of ligamentous support around the ankle
  • Poor foot mechanics (altering ground reaction forces, and load through the door, ankle, leg…)

The list goes on.

But….. It is not a symptom of running!!

Running is not your issue, everything else is! Often people will spend all day sat down, sitting in the car, sitting at their desk, sitting on the sofa…. Then go for a run, then assume the run is the cause of the pain. When actually the whole “sitting down all day thing” is the problem. Sitting for prolonged periods turns off your glutes, shortens and strains a whole bunch of other muscles.  You need to be fit to run, so get yourself assessed properly, make sure your body is working how it should be, and is as strong as it needs to be.

You can get back on track with your training and get out of pain, with a little help from your Osteopath.

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