Keywords; shine splints, chiropractic, buying running shoes, ankle joint sprain.
This lower leg condition can be so extremely painful that you may have to use crutches if you want to go for a walk around the town; but for the majority it's just a real nuisance.
The pain is experienced in the inner, medial shin by serious and casual athletes alike but also dancers, and even those who simply love to enjoy a bit of regular aerobic sport. It can be so severe that the sufferer can barely walk due to the pain.
Whilst, yes it's true, it's a condition limited to the person who loves some form of sport, it's good to recognise that active persons have far less of the more serious diseases that haunt those who participate in no or little exercise at all.
Less heart disease, stroke, hypertension, arthritis and especially less chance of having to stab yourself several times a day; diabetes isn't pleasant. All these conditions face the couch potato and they're not just unpleasant but life threatening.
Mostly it’s a self limiting condition, meaning it'll get better of its own accord with no treatment. Exercise hurts, so you stop exercising and the pain goes away. But that’s not an option for the serious athlete and those hooked on aerobics. Then the condition may become chronic and very debilitating.
Several muscles attach to the inner shin bone, or tibia. The one usually affected is the soleus, one of the two big calf muscles.
and the semi tendinosis, one of the hamstring muscles.
"In thigh-high yellow leather boots
Plump Saphonisba strides.
Too bad that, just to hide her calves,
Two calves have lost their hides."
- X. J. Kennedy
Enter the chiropractor. We like to treat the causes, not just the symptoms. So what are the causes? Frankly there are many. Hyper-pronation of the ankle is one of the main causes. Flat feet.
You can surely see the difference:
A bit of anatomy
However there are many other causes from tight calf muscles, the soleus and gastrocnemius, insufficient warm up techniques and a sudden increase in training. In practice, as chiropractors we often find many other associated conditions that could be the underlying cause of your shin splints. These could be fixations in the foot or a subluxated sacroiliac joint; there is no substitute for a careful and thorough examination.
Muscles move bones, and connect to the bone via a tendon, albeit a very short tendon in the case of the Soleus, but a very long tendon of the Semitendinosus.
A ligament by the way connects bone to bone, whereas a muscle to bone connection is via a tendon.
These tendons connect to the shin bone via so called sharpey fibres that root deep into the peri osteum, around the bone, the connective tissue bone sheath, hooking the tendon firmly to the bone.
In a so called tendonitis, these fibres rip out of the bone causing pain when the muscle contracts. Often though, there is less pain during exercise if the athlete follows a proper warmup procedure, but after the workout the pain returns with a vengeance.
The pain of shin splints can be experienced anyway from just below the medial, or inner, knee, and right down to the medial malleolus of the ankle. It may be a very sharp, debilitating pain, often brought on after a long layoff without proper preparation for the new season.
An anecdote from the coalface. A young woman, early thirties, very active but not an athlete, consulted me recently with severe inner shinbone pain. She loved to jog, do a bit of aerobics but was hardly a fitness freak; just active.
Two and a half years ago she started getting shin splints. Within a few months it was so painful that she literally could not walk more than a hundred metres. To go op stap as young people call it, a Friday night on the town, she literally had to use crutches.
She had tried everything she told me.
It proved to be an interesting case. She had no flat feet, which is often the case, but she did have a short leg, and a fixation in the opposite sacro-iliac joint. There is pretty standard, and dealing with those alone might have fixed her problem. But what was interesting was the she had marked fixations in the medial cuneiform bone in the foot and a fibula head fixation.
The expected medial shinbone pain periosteal pain at the insertion of the soleus muscle, but also following the semitendinosus muscle way up into the thigh were present.
She is well pleased. In just three weeks the pain has halved, and last weekend she went for a stroll around the town for the first time in two years.
Treatment @ Chiropractic Help
BUYING RUNNING SHOES
When to consult your chiropractor?
This is always a difficult question to answer. I don't believe you have to rush off to your doctor for every little snivel, or your chiropractor every time you have a pain. Try some common sense home care for a few weeks.
But do understand that if you allow it to become chronic, you will have to go onto a rehab program, and an occasional regular treatment with chiropractor for some months, all of which starts to cost. This applies just as much to shin splints as it does to neck pain.
When you know, honestly deep down that this is not getting better then do not delay any longer.
Tip: Make sure you find a sports oriented chiropractor for this
condition. Your regular DC who only adjusts the spine will help, but his
tools may prove limited. Call the chiropractic association and ask for a
chiropractor with fics qualification.
BREASTBONE PAIN ... a nasty kindred spirit
Bone-bone, bone-ligament and bone-tendon conditions can all be very disheartening. Chiropractic works with all three.
Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.
Interesting challenges of the day
1. Mr D has very severe midback back. He bent and twisted, feeding his son, and then laughed. Every breath is a nightmare. A sprung rib is every chiropractor's delight. He or she has golden hands. 30 percent better after one treatment.
2. Mrs C has a long history of severe, disabling migraine headaches since having her wisdom teeth removed. She clenches her teeth at night. After six treatments she has no migraines but some jaw joint discomfort remains; a bite plate is in the offing.
3. Mrs U has the trophy for the worst back this year. After major surgery with plates and screws two years later she still had paresis in the lower leg and severe disabling back pain. She's doing far better than expected, in no little part due to a lift in her shoe for a very short leg.
4. Mr V is 86 years old and hurt his back helping his wife into the car. Just one treatment of the sacroiliac joint and he's eighty percent better. It's not always like that.
5. Mr W lay on his back knocking down a pillar. Turning his head causes severe vertigo. He needs the Epley exercises, not pills, research shows. Update, he's fine.
6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.
7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.
8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.
9. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine.
10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.
11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.
12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.
13. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks 75 percent improved. No longer vomiting all falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.
And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.
Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?
Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.
Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question
Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.
You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.
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