SHIN 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.