You complain of pain in the front or back of your lower leg. The pain is a deep ache and is worse when you are on your feet. Usually this occurs in people who walk, run or do a lot of exercise with their legs. The pain has occurred without obvious injury or for no known reason.
The alignment of the bones of the lower leg and foot as well as the strength and flexibility of the muscles in the area are often at the root cause. The fancy term for this is biomechanics.
When the bones and joints are not tracking in their optimal paths this increases strain on joints in the area as well as the muscles that support them.
Most of us have improper biomechanics to some degree. Even with prefect biomechanics overuse of your legs and feet beyond what they are used to can cause your problems. For example say you decide to exercise after being sedentary for a while. You start out and quickly increase the distance, intensity or frequency of your workouts. This increase may be more that your lower leg or foot can handle and this results in injury.
How We Treat Shin Splints
It is important to rest the area to allow healing. It is difficult to rest from walking but if you are an avid runner or athlete you should consider resting for a while. Icing the area, taping of the foot and/or leg will also reduce the strain on the area. Make sure to replace worn out shoes with a good shock absorbing pair of shoes.
In the office Dr. Schwartz performs chiropractic adjustments of the many bones and joints in your feet. The adjustments help increase mobility in stiff joints of the ankle and foot and the net result is less strain transferred from the foot to the shin.
Ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, ice heat and deep massage help relieve the pain.
Corrective exercises strengthen the muscles of the shin and the calf. Working on a balance device like the wobble board or rocker board is also helpful.
Sometimes Dr. Schwartz will use an orthotic device that you wear in your shoe. This is used to control the motion of your foot and take the strain off your shin.