One of the most common sports related conditions I come across is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) or as it is most commonly known as Shin Splints. The diagnosis of shin splints is expressed from a recurring dull ache over the lower and medial portion of the lower leg between the knee and the ankle.
This condition is common for athletes who engage in sports where running and heavy jumping are involved. There are several theories as to why this condition occurs and it is challenging to decipher whether it is a single or multiple cause and effect relationship. Some of these causes include:
- Excessive running and jumping (especially on hard surfaces).
- Mobility limitations of the joint, particularly the ankle.
- Stability restrictions and imbalances of the muscles of the lower leg including: the calves and the Anterior and Posterior Tibialis
- Excessive pronation (rolling in-ward) of the ankle while moving.
If the problem is not treated the condition could move toward a more serious stage which can include a stress fracture. It is best to initially get checked out by your physician and if you are not at a high risk for a more serious issue then you can start with some self treatment.
Some of the best forms of self-treatment include:
- Soft tissue work including foam rolling of the lower leg and plantar fascia
- Mobility work for the ankle
- Stretching of the calf muscles and both the Anterior and Posterior Tibialis.
Check out the video below and learn how to do the above self-treatments and help alleviate your shin splint pain.