Posteromedial and Anterolateral Shin Splints
A shin splint is a painful condition that occurs from damage to muscles along the shin, and the pain can occur anywhere from just below the knee to above the ankle.
The typical cause is continued, repeated stress to the lower leg, and is common in runners.
Shin splints may be caused by:
Of all of the possible causes, pronation (foot roll) is the most likely to be overlooked.
- An inexperienced runner just beginning to run (too much too fast).
- Running on side slopes (ie. banked tracks).
- Tight Calf Muscles, exerting extra force on shin muscles.
- A sudden change from soft to hard running surfaces.
- Poor or worn out footwear.
- Excessive uphill running.
- Poor running mechanics. This could include:
- Heavy forward lean
- Excessive weight on the ball of the foot
- Running with toes pointed outward
- Landing too far back on the heels causing the foot to flap down
- and overpronation.
Posteromedial shin splints
Posteromedial shin splints affect muscles in the back and inner part of the lower leg. These muscle groups are responsible for lifting the heel to support the runners weight on the ball portion of the foot when running.
This type of shin splint is often caused by running on a banked track or non-level running surface or wearing improper shoes that do not protect the foot from rolling (pronation).
Pain begins on the inside of the lower leg (usually within 7 inches above the ankles), but will worsen and continue to rise up the leg.
Initially, only tendons of the muscles will become inflamed, but if running continues, the muscles themselves could become affected. At the worst, the tendon could become detached from the bone - a painful occurrence that causes bleeding and excessive inflammation.
To allow a posteromedial shin splint to heal, the runner must temporarily stop running and do other kinds of exercise recommended by their doctor or physical therapist.
Special shoes may be prescribed during the healing phase, and it may be advisable to look into potential problems with pronation of the feet. This can often be solved by researching and using shoes that better prevent pronation and/or the avoidance of running on side slopes.
Anterolateral Shin Splints
Anterolateral shin splints affect muscles in the front and outside parts of the shin, and is the result of a natural imbalance in the size of opposing muscles.
Shin muscles pull the foot up, whereas the large and powerful calf muscle pulls the foot down everytime the heel strikes the ground when running. These calf muscles can exert a lot of force, enough force that can actually injure the shin muscles.
Anterolateral shin splints will cause pain in the front and outside of the shin. Initial pain is felt when the heel strikes the ground though eventually the pain just stays constant.
To allow this type of shin splint to heal, the person must stop running and do other kinds of exercise recommended by their doctor or physical therapist. Such exercises usually involve stretching the calf muscle, as tight calf muscles put a lot of pressure on the shin muscle and tendons.
A constant regimen of Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ is commonly recommended to help the affected muscles and tendons, allowing them to heal more quickly and reduce inflammation and pain in the area. Treatment of the calf muscle with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will also help increase the flexibility of this muscle, thus indirectly reducing the average level of strain on the shin muscle and tendon group.
What can I do?
Tenden and muscle injuries in the lower leg are generally slow to heal, as it can be difficult to give your legs the rest they need. The goal is to protect your injured tissues, allow your muscles and tendons to heal naturally and return to your normal routines as soon as possible.
It is important to treat shin splints as soon as possible, as any activity or strain you put on your calf muscles and tendons can re-injure it further. Though the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of shin splints can be overwhelming, it is possible to overcome it. Fortunately, there are healing tools that can help treat your strained muscles and tendons and speed up the healing process so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury.
Cold compression therapy and BFST® will reduce pain, swelling and tissue damage, treat scar tissue, and promote blood flow to heal your shins and calves faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
To decrease inflammation of your shin splilnts when pain first occurs or flares up, doctor's recommend cold compression therapy. For an acute strain, cold compression therapy within the first 72 hours and after any re-strain is important to limit the amount of damage done to your tissue. Cold compression therapy will relieve pain and swelling as needed and will reduce, or even eliminate, the need for NSAIDs and pain medications.
The Leg/Arm Freezie Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need to treat your shin splint pain in an effective and convenient way. It is so versatile it can be worn anywhere on your body, wherever you need treatment.
Cold Compression Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through your tendons and muscles and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal your tendon strain faster and with less pain!
The deep cooling effect provided by the Freezie Wrap® slows cell metabolism thereby reducing cellular break-down and tissue damage. Furthermore, because the cold wraps gently numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain!
The Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn.
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After severe inflammation and swelling is reduced you can begin to treat your lower legs with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®). BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your muscles and tendons to nourish your soft tissue which speeds healing.
When you rest your leg and stop moving around because it hurts, the natural blood flow to your tendons is reduced, limiting your body's ability to heal itself.
By treating your lower legs with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the fibers and increase your body's natural healing power.
The Inferno Wrap® is the tool you need to treat your sore shins because not only does it speed healing, it relaxes all your muscles. With BFST®, tissues are safely and gently stimulated. Your body responds with a rapid increase in blood flow to the area, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue cells to promote healing and loosen the tissue. Our Leg/Arm Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
In addition, the improved blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from your strain, further reducing tightness and pain. When you stop moving your leg due to pain, your tendons, muscles, and other tissue can become weaker and dead cells and toxins in the area can cause further tissue deterioration - this can lead to atrophy (muscle weakness and/or deterioration). By clearing the area of toxins and increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your muscle and other tissue, the risk of atrophy is greatly reduced. Keeping your tissue as healthy as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve lower leg strength again once your pain has gone and your strain has healed.
With these easy therapies - cold compression with the Freezie Wrap® and BFST® with the Inferno Wrap®, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your shin splint pain.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your shins until your pain and inflammation settle. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.