Understanding Shin Splints
Shin splints are a common condition that impacts more than three million people in the United States, with a majority being athletes and runners. Shin splints cause sharp, shooting leg pain that gets worse during and after activity. Other symptoms include soreness on the inner side of the lower leg muscles.
At St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance, we offer comprehensive shin splints treatment. Our chiropractor in St. Johns, FL, can help you discover the cause of your shin splints and find lasting relief from the condition.
Causes and Risk Factors
The medical term for shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints develop when inflammation occurs in the muscles, tissues, and tendons surrounding your shin bone, which is called the tibia.
Certain physical activities, especially running, can cause shin splints if you engage in them without taking precautions. Starting a new training program or beginning an intense exercise routine leads to shin splints for many people. Any sudden increase in the duration, frequency, or intensity of your physical activity puts you at a higher risk.
Existing medical concerns also increase your risk of developing shin splints. These include hip problems, flat feet, high arches, and prior running injuries. Wearing improper footwear during exercise and failing to stretch before exercise also contribute to shin splint development.
The Role of Biofreeze
Biofreeze is a topical product many people use to relieve their shin splint pain. When you apply it to your skin, Biofreeze produces a cooling effect that eases discomfort in the leg muscles. Patients with mild swelling use Biofreeze for temporary relief from shin splint pain.
Biofreeze comes in a wide variety of options, giving patients more control over how much pain relief they experience. The Biofreeze line includes the following products:
- Roll-on gel
- Topical foam
- Topical cream
- Adhesive patches
- Aerosol spray
The roll-on Biofreeze analgesic is a good option for patients with shin splints because it allows them to massage the product into the skin. The menthol draws attention away from the pain and towards the surface of the skin, focusing on an intense cooling sensation.
Cupping for Shin Splints | An Effective Therapy
At St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance, we approach shin splints in several ways, depending on their severity. One approach is a treatment called “cupping.”
During a cupping treatment, we place plastic rubber cups tightly against the skin. Using a gentle suction device, we remove all of the air from the cup, causing the skin to pull away from the muscle.
Cupping for shin splints increases circulation and blood flow to the strained area. This enhances oxygen uptake in the tissues, relieving inflammation and reducing pain in the muscles.
One of the downsides of cupping is the immediate result, which is round bruises along the treatment area. These bruises typically last between two to four days before fading.
Compression for Shin Splints Treatment | Aiding Recovery
At St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance, we also use compression for shin splints treatment. With compression therapy, controlled pressure against the muscles reduces inflammation and alleviates pain.
We use an innovative treatment called Normatec Compression Boots for our compression therapy. During this treatment, patients insert their legs into large boots that contract inwards, applying direct pressure to their leg muscles.
Normatec Compression Boots offer the following benefits:
- Reduces inflammatory cytokine levels
- Increases flexibility
- Improves range of motion
- Promotes lymph vessel drainage
- Limits downtime after physical activity
For patients with shin splints, compression therapy speeds up recovery time by reducing inflammation in the affected muscles. This allows patients to resume their normal activities, like exercise routines and sports.
Treat Shin Splints at St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance
Have painful shin splints taken you off the field? Cupping and compression are two effective ways to treat shin splints and heal your muscles. Using Biofreeze can also alleviate mild swelling and allow you to return to your usual activities.
You can prevent shin splints from developing in the future by gradually increasing your exercise and wearing proper footwear. If you’re currently suffering from shin splints, contact St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance. We offer cupping and compression for shin splints treatment, and we can help you get back on your feet. Contact us at 904-217-7078 to schedule an appointment.