The phrase “shin splint” is typically used as a generic term to describe pain in the lower leg, either on the medial (inside) or lateral (outside) side of the shin bone. This pain usually begins as a dull ache that can’t be pinpointed; it can be felt along the entire region where the muscle attaches to the bone. However, true shin splints symptoms occur at the front inside of the shin bone and can arise from a number of causes—but are actually quite rare. Most diagnosed shin splints are caused by a number of conditions, such as tendonitis, periostitis (inflammation of the membrane covering the bone), or a stress fracture. Considering that the placement, causes, and treatment of these three injuries are often the same, the term “shin splint” became a simple way to label the injury.
Shin splints almost always occur in sports that involve running or jumping, such as jogging, dancing, gymnastics, and more. Even walkers can experience shin splints. Runners might get them after ramping up their workout intensity or changing the surface they run on. Ten to fifteen percent of running injuries are diagnosed as shin splints. Early on, exercisers will usually feel pain only at the beginning and end of their workouts. But over time the discomfort becomes more severe, lasting throughout workouts and striking even when you’re not exercising, like when getting out of bed. While they often heal on their own given enough time, severe shin splints can ruin your game.
Shin Splint Treatment
Although shin splints may be caused by different problems, traditional treatment is usually the same: rest your body so the underlying issue heals. Shin splints can last up to six weeks, and even longer if the affected area is not given appropriate time to rest and repair. In some cases, shin splints can last for months. This can be extremely frustrating, especially for athletes and other highly active individuals.
However, with Airrosti’s method of treatment, shin splints can be healed much faster. The Airrosti Certified Providers take time to evaluate each patient’s symptoms to get an accurate diagnosis. They then use specific manual therapy targeted at the source of the pain associated with shin splints. This technique can help dramatically speed the recovery process and minimize the likelihood of re-injury.
The Airrosti Providers also often prescribe at home stretching or foam rolling to help speed recovery. These stretches and rolling can also help prevent future injuries. You can read more about the benefits of foam rolling here in one of our previous posts written by one of our Certified Recovery Specialists.