Shin Splints Massage

Shin-Splints-MassageSHIN SPLINTS –  chronic strain on tibialis anterior and/ or tibialis posterior muscles

What Happens with Shin Splints:

  • Usually tiny tears in tibialis anterior where it attaches to the tibia
  • This generally leads to periostitis
  • Periostitis- inflammation of the periosteum of the tibia  (sheath surrounding the bone)
  • Shin splints is often used as a “ blanket” term for any pain along the anterior lower leg. This includes tibialis posterior tendonitis. Tibial stress fractures, periostitis, compartment syndrome.
  • Due to the tearing of muscle fibers away from the periosteal attachment, anterior shin splints manifests as bumps and tender areas on the anterior leg
  • As these fibers heal, they become fibrotic, making it difficult for the muscle to lengthen normally.
  • The fibrotic patches weaken the muscle by restricting movement, perpetuating the probability of future shin splints. ( when u lengthen it, its easy to tear the fibers again)
  • Untreated shin splints place the individual at a greater risk for developing stress fractures.

Shin Splints Massage

CAUSES of Shin Splints:

  • Overuse: running or jogging
  • Muscle imbalances due to poor arch support, poor flexibility of anterior and posterior compartments
  • Posterior tibialis tendonitis
  • Hypertonic anterior compartment from overuse
  • Misalignment of lower leg, ankles or knees may cause microtears in the muscles with overuse ( excessive pronation)
  • Poor techniques when running, hard/uneven running surfaces.

Shin Splints Massage

Shin Splints SYMPTOMS:

  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness along the crest of the tibia, usually either posteriomedial or anteriolateral
  • Pain at the start of exercise which often eases as the session continues
  • Pain often returns after activity and may be at its worst the next morning
  • Lumps and bumps may be felt when feeling the inner portion of the tibia
  • Pain when the toes or foot are plantarflexed
  • A redness over the inside of the shin ( not always present)

Shin Splints Massage Therapy

 Shin Splints Massage Treatment:

  • Rule out stress fracture ( MD referral for massage)
  • Deep tissue technique to release the anterior compartment ( MFR, effl, petr)
  • Treat tibialis anterior with deep muscle stripping, and ischemic compressions, staying away from the bone ( you don’t want to pull the muscle away from the bone .again?)
  • Massage tibialis anterior with deep muscle stripping, and ischemic compressions, staying away from the bone
  • Massage hypertonic gastrocnemius and soleus
  • Massage Proximal structures ( glute, hams, quads)
  • also treat antagonists ( gastrocs , soleus)
  • Treat compensating structures: adductors, quads, hamstrings, psoas


  • Alternating ice/heat, ending in ice
  • Ice after activity.
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