When stress is placed on the shins with physical activity from walking, running, or exercise, the connective tissues attaching the leg muscles to the tibia can become inflamed, causing medial tibial stress syndrome, more commonly known as shin splints. This inflammation is caused by tiny tears in the muscles and tendons of the shin. Chronic shin pain could be related to foot arch problems, underlying issues with the muscles, or shoes that don’t support the feet properly. Although it usually goes away within a few days, it’s important to monitor to ensure that it does not progress into a stress fracture. A chiropractor can offer treatments to relieve the pain and help prevent shin splints from recurring.
Medial tibial stress syndrome can impact anyone. It can come from walking far distances or in awkward positions like going downstairs with small steps, jumping rope, and playing with the kids on the playground can all cause burning, tightness, and pain in the shins. Shin splints affect individuals differently. For some, the pain recedes when the triggering activity is stopped. For others, the pain can become a chronic condition that results in continuous pain, even when at rest.
Medial tibial stress syndrome is more likely to happen from:
Whenever pain is being experienced, some muscles will either get tight or weak in response. By identifying the weak and/or tight muscles, a chiropractor can prescribe stretches and exercises that will help alleviate the pain and prevent it. One of the main principles of chiropractic is to treat the body as an interconnected system. A chiropractor may work on an unrelated part of the body to treat the symptomatic area. For example, they may work to align the spine and pelvis to lessen the impact on the lower legs.
Part of a treatment plan may include:
Salt/sodium is everywhere and hard to avoid.
It might not be a surprise that a single patty cheeseburger contains over 500 mg of sodium – almost a quarter of the daily recommended level, but it is a surprise to know that the ranch dressing on a salad contains as much as 270 mg or a tablespoon of soy sauce on a healthy, vegetable-only stir-fry has 879 mg of sodium. The Mayo Clinic estimates that the average individual consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium a day: close to double what is recommended. Sodium is linked with water retention, and it is the kidneys’ job to expel unneeded sodium out of the body. Until the kidneys activate, an individual will temporarily be retaining extra water. If daily water and sodium intake habits change daily, this can contribute to water retention, causing fluctuations in daily weight. So, if an individual was on a diet but flooded the body with more salt than usual, expect to see a temporary increase in weight.
Bates, P. “Shin splints–a literature review.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 19,3 (1985): 132-7. doi:10.1136/bjsm.19.3.132
Chiropractic Economics: The Science Behind Percussion Massage.
Gross, ML et al. “Effectiveness of orthotic shoe inserts in the long-distance runner.” The American journal of sports medicine vol. 19,4 (1991): 409-12. doi:10.1177/036354659101900416
Heer, Martina et al. “Increasing sodium intake from a previous low or high intake affects water, electrolyte and acid-base balance differently.” The British journal of nutrition vol. 101,9 (2009): 1286-94. doi:10.1017/S0007114508088041
McClure, Charles J. and Robert Oh. “Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 11 August 2021.
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