(Posteromedial and Anterolateral)
Shin splints occur because of damage done to muscles that run up and down the lower leg along the shin. It is a painful condition in which 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 improve blood flow to the affected muscles and tendons, allowing them to heal more quickly and improve pain in the area. Treatment of the calf muscle with BFST® will also help increase the flexibility of this muscle, thus indirectly reducing the average level of strain on the shin muscle and tendon group.
Muscle Injury Treatments
It is important to treat muscle strain, tears, and other injuries as soon as possible, as any activity or strain you put on your muscle can re-injure it further.
The trick with any muscle injury is getting it to heal quickly to reduce the risk of re-injury and scar tissue formation. As scar tissue forms, the muscle becomes less flexible so fewer instances of re-injury means a greater range of motion and less healing time to you.
Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in a previously injured muscle. This can cause the muscle to hurt during exercise and most everyday activities. However, if you heal your injury efficiently and quickly, your chance of re-injury later on is much lower.
Although it is recommended that you rest your muscle following injury it can be difficult to do if it is essential to use for daily activities. Fortunately, there are healing tool that can help treat your muscle 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, and promote blood flow to heal your muscle and attached tendon faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Cold Compression Freezie Wraps®
Doctors recommend using cold compression as soon as possible following an injury and re-injury to reduce pain and swelling and minimize tissue damage that occurs with soft tissue injuries like muscle strains and tears.
The Freezie Wraps® allow you to treat your muscles in an effective and convenient way. The wrap is adjustable which allows you to control the compression to a level that is comfortable for you and the gel packs are chilled in the fridge not the freezer. This eliminates the risk of cryoburn, or 'cold burns', on your skin that can be cause by ice and strandard freezer gel packs. You can also wear the Freezie Wrap® for longer treatments so you can enjoy even more relief from your pain!
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 the muscle 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 muscle, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to healing faster and with less pain and less chance of re-injury!
The deep cooling effect provided by Freezie Wraps® gives you the fast, effective relief your sore muscle has been looking for!
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Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation and swelling is gone you can begin to treat your muscle with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, or BFST®. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your muscle to nourish and speed healing.
When you stop moving because your muscle in injured and it hurts, the natural amount of blood flow it usually receives is reduced which limits the body's ability to heal the injury quickly.
By treating your muscle with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply and increase your body's natural healing power, in a convenient, painless treatment that just feels good!
In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Inferno Wraps® provide effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
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With these easy-to-use, home therapies you will notice incredible improvement in the flexibility of your muscle and significantly less pain. The more diligent you are with your treatment, the faster you will see 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.