This week's question -
How do I deal with shin splints?
My answer -
One thing that is a central tenant to my physical therapy practice is to "treat the patient, not the diagnosis." This is because people with "shin splints" can present in a variety of different ways with a variety of different underlying problems, which makes it difficult for me to put into the content of one email my method for treating any specific condition. That being said, I will do my best to share what I can.
If someone is having shin pain, the first thing that is important to do is to modify their volume or load of training. The length and severity of this modification will depend on the length and severity of their symptoms. If the person is having symptoms with daily activities (not sports only) they may need to see a doctor to rule out fractures, etc.
During the break from training or reduced training intensity, its important to improve foot stability, improve ankle mobility, and improve the balance in strength of the 4 compartments of ankle muscles.
The exercises shown here and here are a good start, along with reading this article (yes its about ankle injuries, but shin splints can often be grouped into this category).
Footwear both during sports and daily activities can be impactful here as well, so talking to a medical professional about what footwear may be best, along with reading this article can be helpful!
Remember, while you can try to implement some of these exercises as a preventative measure or initial recommendation, it is important for anyone in pain to be evaluated by a qualified medical professional.
If you or your family member are dealing with shin splints, call me today for a free consultation. 973-556-8465
Have a question you want answered? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org