Shin Splits

What are shin splints?

Shin splints is a blanket term used to describe pain at the front of the lower leg. Often affecting runners, the most common cause of shin splints is inflammation of the periostium (a thin layer of cells covering the bone) of the tibia (lower leg bone). The muscles of the lower leg, when engaged in prolong contraction and rest, which occurs in runnning, tug on the periostium eventually causing shin pain and inflammation. A painful/ sore region measuring 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in length is usually present. Pain is typically noted within the first hour of the workout, then decreases only to reappear near the end of the workout. Shin splint discomfort is often initially described as dull; however, if the precipitating activity continues, the pain can become so severe that it causes the athlete to stop workouts entirely.

Treatment for Shin Splints

Most sports physicians and trainers advocate the “relative rest” approach to treating shin splints. This includes changing the pace and nature of the workout; for example stationary bike and swimming; icing the painful area, rest periods, anti-inflammation medications (as needed), Ace wrap/ taping for mild compression and support; stretching exercises, checking for possible footwear deficiencies such as poor arch support, and gradual increase in running activities as symptoms improve. In addition, lymphatic massage can help move out inflammatory products, decreasing the recovery timeframe. Endermotherapy is a new form of mechanized massage that accomplishes this. Endermotherapy increases lymph and blood circulation to muscles and skin by 300%, lasting up to six hours post-treatment.