New ideas on Shin Splints Cures, Causes and Prevention
The term shin splints encompasses a number of disorders that include mild swelling, soreness or pain along or just behind the inner edge of the shin bone (tibia). While this almost all-encompassing definition can make it easy to to diagnose, shin splits cures can often be harder to determine.
The causes of shin splints have been attributed to everything from running on uneven surfaces to rapid increase in activity. However, more recent thinking attributes biomechanical malfunctions, specifically overpronation due to ankle inflexibility or the overuse / inflexibility of the calf (gastroc or soleus) to be the true cause of shin splints.
What is Overpronation?
During a normal stride, the foot’s first function is to absorb and help dispel shock from impact. This is followed by rotation inward and downward (pronation) so that the foot can manage the terrain on which you are walking or running. The ankle then flexes, allowing the knee to move forward. While the heel raises, the foot rotates so that the outer edge of the sole bears the body’s weight .
Shin Splint Pain & The Role of Overpronation
Overpronation can be caused by poorly supported arches, tightness in the ankle, Achilles tendon, calf or other muscle imbalances. Without proper arch support the foot lands, flattens and the ankle overpronates. The tibia is then forced to twist slightly in the outward direction pulling the calf muscles with it. This overpronation delivers inferior stabilization and inefficient shock absorption. Over time, this repetitive, inefficient motion creates “shin splints”.
Shin Splints & Calf Flexibility
Calf flexibility also plays an important role in preventing shin splints. Flexible calf muscles will provide more “give” in support of this motion, however, one of the most effective things an athlete can do is to stop the foot from rolling. This can be done by both strengthening the muscles and tendons which support the ankle and with proper arch support in both athletic and every day shoes.
Shin Splint Prevention & Remedies
It is critical to rule out stress fractures or other more serious causes for the shin pain. Shin splints cures can actually be fairly simple. In fact, it can be easy to cure true shin splints in as little as 5 – 10 days. Do keep in mind a few key points:
Working with medical professionals, Medi-Dyne has developed 2Steps™ Solutions for Shin Splints. 2Steps Solutions deliver a sound regimen which provides both 1. Immediate Relief and 2. Long-Term Healing, delivering shin splints cures to put you back on your feet and at peak performance.
STEP 1. IMMEDIATE RELIEF
After rest and ice, arch supports can play a big role in providing immediate relief for shin splints.
Proper support helps cushion and disperse stress on your shinbones as well as guide proper pronation.
Light-weight arch supports with built-in heel cups, like the Tuli’s® 3/4 Gaitors® provide light-weight shock absorption and support in an ultra-thin carbon fiber orthotic. These over the counter orthotics can be worn in both athletic and casual shoes.
LONG-TERM HEALING AND PREVENTION
Gastroc and soleus flexibility is imperative to the health of shins. By stretching calves daily and increasing calf flexibility, the risk of injury can be reduced. Gastroc and soleus flexibility play an important role in maintaining ankle flexibility and reducing the risk of Achilles tendon tightness.
The ProStretch® Plus makes it easy for athletes to perform all of the necessary stretches independently, effectively and efficiently.
Add Ankle Strengthening Exercises
Additionally, ankle strengthening exercises including resisted inversion, resisted eversion, resisted plantar flexion and resisted dorsiflexion will help to curtail overpronation and rolling.
Trigger points can also cause the shins (tibialis anterior) to be weaker than normal, putting extra stress on the connective muscle fibers. Massaging can bring added relief and flexibility.
RangeRoller®’s unique design allows athletes to use both the TriggerTreads™ for increasing circulation as well as the handle end points for trigger point release.
For increased circulation and performance consider massaging the outer calf, inner calf, back mid-calf , and the lower leg along the sides of the shin bone.
Using these 2Steps™ Solutions for immediate relief and long-term healing, athletes suffering from shin splints should be back in the game quickly.
Check back on March 16, 2015 for more information on Shin Splints Cures and Stretches!
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