Running has grown immensely In popularity over the past several years. It’s a great way to stay in shape, and as long as you have a good pair of shoes, it can take you almost anywhere. However, it does come with its fair share of injuries, one of them being shin splints. At some point, many runners become all too familiar with that sharp, shooting pain along the inside of their shins every time their foot hits the pavement. Yet it’s an injury that can easily be addressed and even prevented.
Shin splints is the more common term for a condition known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MISS). MISS marks the beginning of a stress fracture continuum where bone remodeling cannot keep up with bone destruction due to repeated tibial bending/bowing. It has also been linked to periosteal traction associated with tension of the tibial’s posterior, sokus, and flexor digitorum longus. In other words, those muscles along the back of your calf begin separating from the bone due to the forces that occur during running. Factors that predispose people to MISS include a pronatory foot type (in which your foot rolls inward), female gender, higher BMI, leaner calf girth (resulting in less shock-absorbing capacity of the calf muscles), previous history of having MTSS, and excessive internal and external rotation at the hips.
Once you acquire MTSS, no intervention has been shown at this time to be more effective than rest. 10 days or more is typically adequate with a slow return to running. During this 10 day hiatus, non.impact activities such as biking and swimming are great alternatives to help maintain your hard-earned endurance gains. However, in order to prevent MTSS from occurring altogether, having shoes with good medial arch support (on the inside of the foot) are very beneficial. Furthermore, addressing any instability or weakness at the hips and knees could also help improve your running mechanics and allow for better contact with your foot each time you land.
Whether it’s MISS or another running ailment, physical therapy can be very helpful for assessing and treating the causes for any pain or discomfort you experience while running. The staff at Comprehensive Physical Therapy Center exists in order to optimize your function and enable you to enjoy the activities you love.
“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough. old enough. strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself? .John Bingham
- Dave McMahon, DPT @ our Standale Office
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