A term that most of my patients that are avid runners throw around from time to time is <em>Shin Splints</em>. I often here the term and dismiss it not fully understanding why they use that term in such a derogatory way. I did a little research and this is what I came up with. The feared shin splints are perceived as a much worse condition than it actually is. I think it got this stigma however, because it is very painful and it WILL prevent you from running and training up to your fullest potential.
Let’s start with anatomy
Usually a shin splint is a strain of a muscle on the front of the lower leg called that tibilais anterior muscle. This muscle attaches to the top of the foot and functions to flex the foot toward the ceiling, so you can imagine that it gets quite the workout during a run (especially a long one). This muscle can in fact become overworked and endure a repetitive overuse injury, which can potentially cause micro-tearing in the muscle and promote scar tissue formation. If this scar tissue gets to be too problematic, it will be felt EVERYTIME you contract that muscle (like during a run). So you see, this can be a very limiting condition and hence the fear in a runners’ eyes when they mention they have the dreaded <em>shin splints</em>.
The good news
Shin splints, whether they are mild, moderate, or severe respond extremely well to Active Release Technique (ART). Although a painful procedure with very angry shin splints, significant difference is noticeable after the first few sessions. And if this is a matter that needs imaging and more aggressive care, I can get you to the proper practitioner. There is no reason why you should let shin splints get in the way of your recreation or training. Get your shin pain evaluated before it really affects your activities.
I’m here to help.