As the foot pronates abnormally, the tibialis posterior tendon is pulled apart excessively from it's attachments along the tibia. The collapsing of the arch is usually magnified from ballistic exercising, i.e. running, walking, hiking, and/or playing sports involving running and jumping more than the foot and lower leg can tolerate. Shin splints are typically called a "repetitive stress or overuse injury." Shin splints can also be associated with new or increased physical activity level, flat feet, pregnancy and obesity. They can be made worse by running on uneven terrain, uphill, down hill, or on hard surfaces. Improper footwear, inadequate shoe lacing techniques, including worn out shoes can also contribute to shin splints. They can also be a direct result of the normal process of aging, as we log 2,000 to 5,000 miles per year on our feet and they gradually get flatter because the ligaments under and on the inside of the foot gradually get looser with just the walking activity, which creates one and a half times our body weight with each step taken.
How to Diagnosis Shin Splints
The diagnosis of shin splints is the primary made from the visual examination of the painful shin and foot of the person's involved leg while walking and/or running (gait analysis) and especially by actually feeling the shin area by palpation along the attachments of the tibialis posterior tendon along the inner tibia bone and also at its insertion points in the foot. A muscle strength resistance test of the tibialis posterior muscle will usually provoke the pain and/or test weak. Ruling out a stress fracture in the tibia bone at the point of pain may be done with a tuning fork, X-Rays, MRI, ultrasound or bone scan. Many times since shin splints are in one leg and not the other, or worse in one shin compared to the other I may use a special X-Ray
to measure if there is a longitudinal leg length abnormality. This is a X-Ray of both legs (femurs and tibias) and the average difference is 1/4".
Shin Splint Treatment
The practice of Chiropractic involves maintenance of the structural and functional integrity of the human body. A doctor of chiropractic may manipulate any and all of the body's joints, muscles and connective tissue. During the course of your treatment many physical agents, modalities, techniques and therapies are available to me as your chiropractor to assist in my treatment.
1. Apply my shin splint Point of Pain Taping Technique. This shortens the longitudinal length of the tibialis posterior muscle/tendon by using a point of pain taping technique on the tibia itself.
2. Special foot taping technique. This shortens the longitudinal length of the tibialis posterior muscle/tendon by using my Foot Pain Taping Technique.
(Foot Pain Taping Technique)
3. Another very effective palliative (pain relieving) treatment is ultrasound (and can also be diagnostic to rule out stress fracture) of the painful area of the tibia, if the lower leg can be submerged in water (hydrosonic therapy). This special use of ultrasound significantly increases the micro massage and anti-inflammatory benefits of the sound waves.
4. Natural anti-inflammatory supplements:
5. Purchase the best shoes for you by using the techniques in The Right Running Shoes. Always use stability or motion control running shoes (NO CUSHIONED or MINIMALIST SHOES), even for walking activities, along with ice therapy (crushed ice and/or Dixie cup ice massage). Use crushed ice for 20 minutes at a time, 2 times a day or dixie cup massage for 5 to 10 minutes at a time 4 times a day. NO barefoot walking or Barefoot Running!
6. Dr. Paul's Custom Orthotics with a special correction for the short leg are the best long-term approach to treat and prevent shin splints, as these orthotics put the feet in a normal alignment under the legs, correcting both the abnormal heel angle and abnormal foot pronation.
Dr Paul R. Copeskey, D.C., C.C.F.C.
What are Shin Splints?
The primary source of pain in shin splints is inflammation along the origin of the tibialis posterior tendon at its anchor points along the inside and back portions of the shin bone (tibia). The tibialis posterior tendon runs down along the inside of the tibia from just below the inner knee, passing just inside the inner ankle bone and inserts in to 9 bones in the bottom of the foot.
What Causes Shin Splints?
The primary cause on shin splints is excessive pronation (arch collapsing) of the foot. This abnormality is a direct result of losing the normal heel angle visualized from the side. This is a normal process of aging, as we put 2,000 to 5,000 miles per year on our feet.
(X-Ray Side Views of the Feet)