Although this freezing cold weather makes it hard to believe, spring will actually be here before we know it! (...or that’s just my wishful thinking!)
This means that we will start to come out of hibernation and start to love the outdoors again. As a pedorthist, spring means an influx of running injuries, one of the most common being shin splints. Many runners (new and experienced) hit the pavement with the intent of running as far as they can since the sunny and balmy weather has finally allowed them to do so. This often results in a condition called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome – or shin splints.
Shin splints are typically the inflammation of the connective tissue that attaches the muscles of the lower leg to your lower leg bone (tibia). Many people experience them after high impact exercises such as running, basketball, or hill training.
Simply put: there is a muscle that starts on the inside of your lower leg and inserts on the bottom of your foot (posterior tibialis). This muscle helps to absorb shock by raising and lowering the arch of your foot. If it isn’t working properly, the muscle on the front of your lower leg (anterior tibialis) starts to take over. This muscle is very small and fatigues quite easily. If it is overworked, it will become very sore during your activity and probably the days to follow.
What custom made foot orthotics do is allow your muscles to not work quite as hard. If your posterior tibialis isn’t working to absorb shock properly, the orthotic can do that for you. In this situation the orthotic is designed to bend and flex under your body weight to mimic what the muscle is supposed to do. This allows the anterior tibialis to only work as much as it’s supposed to so that it doesn’t become overworked and sore.
Other treatment options include:
· Activity appropriate footwear
· Stretching and icing
· Gradual increase in activity level
If this is something you suffer from, please do not hesitate to call the clinic (519-787-8111) or book an appointment here to see how we can help.
Laura Van den Borre,