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Shin splints

 

This is pain along thtitlee inner or outer tibia (shin bone) and sometimes between the tibia and fibula. The pain allways feels worse after exersize but generally recovers after a few hours. Shin splints is an over use injury made worse by training on hard surfaces and wearing shoes/boots without the correct support or shock absorbsion. Pain will generaly start at the bottom of the shin and work its way up. It can be very painfull as the complaint results in muscle being torn away from the bone (lumps can be felt along the shin when this happens) In extreme cases if left untreated it can also result in stress fractures to the tibia. 

Treatment

The first thing to do is R.I.C.E.

Shin splints is often part of another problem that has not been looked after (compartment pain) simply this when the calf muscule has become to large for the bag that contains it. So treatment should start with massage to the calf muscle in order to reduce the tightness in the enlarged calf muscle once this has been achieved the shin splints will be less painfull, then ultra-sound and massage treatment can then begin to the painfull lumps along the shin. Deep oscillation can be used as a painless alternative treatment as conventional treatment is very painfull.

Rehabilitation

As this is an overuse injury rest is important so no training for about 3 weeks while undergoing treatment if you wish to be free of the problem. If the muscle has started to pull away from the bone treatment will be required to clear the area. Tapes can then be attached that pull the muscle back to the bone, this will encorage the muscle to re-attach its self but must be left on for a about 2 weeks and only removed during treatment.    

After the treatment has removed the problem a gradual return to full training is recomended, start by running on soft ground also silicone insoles can remove some of the shock and reduce the chances of shin splints returning. Silicone insoles can for found at specialist running shops or on the internet (see firstaid4sport on my web links) 

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