As we discussed in our last blog, shin splints can be very frustrating and difficult to deal with. This lingering sports injury is the most common cause of leg pain in youth competitive athletes and also accounts for between 6-16% of all injuries among runners.(1)
For youth athletes, shin splints (its’ medical term is “medial tibial stress syndrome”) often just start out as a little ache between the knee and ankle. Not much is typically thought about it when it first begins but has he or she continues to run, change directions, and log games and practices in their legs; the ache quickly becomes pain with each step.
Parents most often go with their child to well-intentioned doctors and therapists who end up diagnosing medial tibial stress syndrome and tell the youth athlete to rest and ice the injury. This approach keeps your child out of their sport and sidelines them for an extended period of time, missing a large amount of practice and games.
This is frustrating for you, because you want to watch your kid play the game they love and because youth sports are expensive! This is also difficult for the youth athlete because they want to be playing their favorite sport with their friends.
Recreational adults and competitive runners go through a similar struggle. We often use running to help us accomplish our goals to get in shape, improve our cardiovascular health, or simply to be a better runner. But when this door egg turns into a sharp pain that prevents us from running, we often don’t get to achieve these goals that we have and our health suffers as a result.
Many turn to compression socks, or Biofreeze gel, ice packs, and massage guns to try to find a cure for their lower leg pain. But it often comes with minimal, temporary relief at best.
Get the Best Treatment For Your Running Injury
At St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance, we help active adults & youth athletes get out of pain quickly & rehabilitate their injuries so they can get back to doing what they love without limitation. Dr. Grant Speer is an expert with sports injuries and has an extensive background in diagnosing aches & pains, finding the root cause of the injury, pain reduction techniques, and rehabilitating the injured tissue to prevent further injury.
We have helped many people in Saint Johns, Florida with shin pain and have found lasting solutions to help them run and play sports without pain!
The Best Ways to Shed Shin Pain
Of course the best way to get rid of pain from shin splints is to prevent this sports injury happening in the first place! There are many strategies that can help you avoid shin splints as a runner including wearing footwear properly fitted for your feet, strengthening the muscles around your shins and feet, and gradually easing into a running program or slowly progressing distance and intensity if you are already a seasoned runner.
If you are already having lower leg pain and you are suspecting that it is shin splints, it is best to seek a provider who deals with running injuries so that your injury can be correctly diagnosed. Although shin splints are fairly common, so is stress fractures coming from the shin bones, a strain in a nearby muscle, and general pain coming from the surrounding musculature. A sports injury specialist near you will be able to differentiate the injuries and give you an accurate diagnosis and therefore a proper healing timeline and recovery plan.
When it comes to recovering from shin splints, most are told to simply rest and ice. However neither one of these two therapies actually work on the root cause of the issue and do not work on any existing mobility or strength deficits. There are treatments that give you better results than just resting your legs! This enables you to take less time off (because of the fast results) and sometimes take no time off at all while receiving treatment!
The best treatments for shin splints are a combination of treatments. No one treatment often cures this complaint. Soft tissue therapy and applying kinesiology tape (KT Tape) can be very effective modalities for relieving pain and offloading the stressed tissue (muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons) in the shin. Soft tissue therapy can include manual active release, sports cupping, scraping or Graston, and more!
Rehab exercises can then be done to correct the initial problem which is often hip mobility deficits or weakness in the foot and ankle muscles. This approach will help you get out of pain quickly but also fix the root cause to keep you out of pain and help prevent further lower leg injuries!
Normatec Compression Therapy For Shin Pain
Pulsed pneumatic compression therapy can also help speed up recovery from running and sports injuries. Compression boots or sleeves help deliver a pulsed compression designed to rush blood flow to the injured area. The added blood flow will help flush out stagnant blood and bring in vitamins, minerals, and other healing nutrients to help your shins recover faster and to decrease soreness. Our sports clinic here in Saint Johns, Florida uses Normatec compression boots which are used by all the professional sports teams in the NBA (basketball), NFL (football), and MLB (baseball).
If you know someone in the Saint Johns, Florida area (Durbin Crossing, Aberdeen, RiverTown, Julington Creek Plantation, Beachwalk, Silverleaf) who is not able to live the active lifestyle that they want because of an injury or pain and could benefit from our thorough approach and comprehensive care, please share this post with them or send them our way!
We are conveniently located just south of Jacksonville in between CR 210 and Race Track Road, near where St. Johns Parkway and Longleaf Pine intersect! Right across the street from Patriot Oaks Academy in the 32259 zip code! Only 4 minutes from Durbin Park! We are committed to offering the best chiropractic care near you!
We help active adults & youth athletes get out of pain quickly & rehabilitate their injuries so they can get back to doing what they love pain-free! So, whether you’re looking to make a lifestyle change, recover from chronic pain, or become a better athlete, our experts at St. Johns Chiropractic & Performance can help you improve.
- THACKER, STEPHEN B.; GILCHRIST, JULIE; STROUP, DONNA F.; DEXTER KIMSEY, C. The prevention of shin splints in sports: a systematic review of literature. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: January 2002 – Volume 34 – Issue 1 – p 32-40