Shin Splints from Running can be Treated with Graston Technique

By: Alpha Chiropractic & Physical Therapy

Shin splints are very common especially in runners. The muscles of the lower leg are trying to hold that foot up as we go through our running gait. With each step the foot is landing, absorbing the forces, towing off to go through to come back and land again. As we get tired, we tend to pound a little bit more. With that pounding, we also start to have our arch drop and that dropping motion ends up overworking the muscles of the lower leg where there's tibialis anterior muscle in the front with the posterior tibialis on the back. We're going to work these muscles to help get rid of her shin splints.

We've already used electric and ice on the area to calm down the inflammation and decrease some of the pain. We're applying cocoa butter so that the Graston tool slides easier across the skin. Graston is going to use shear force to break up some of the scar tissue in the muscle. It's going to help stimulate the area to heal faster.

We're going to work all the way through the muscle up along the bone where the little tendon comes to attach. It's where most people feel that pain and irritation all the way through. We'll probably see these little red dots start to form called petechiae and where that's happening from is we have these thin little blood vessels in the scar tissue breaking. With that breaking we're going to get the little red dots. You put enough of those dots together and we might see some bruising with that. But she's going to ice really well tonight so that our chances of bruising decrease tremendously. We're going to work all the way through that muscle.

Up near the top here I feel this big knot, this clump of scar tissue. This is going to affect how this muscle normally moves. It's also probably a spot that starts to fatigue early when she's running.

Shin Splints from Running can be Treated with Graston Technique

It's going to contribute to her early fatigue and foot drop so we're going to work both the back of the muscle and we're going to come back through to the posterior tibialis on the back side of the tibia and work through here. Many people have a little bit more tenderness on this side. This treatment would be involved for several minutes working through. We might combine this with some active release technique where we're sliding through to help break up some more of that scar tissue.

With running injuries, it's usually just not the muscles that hurt but the other muscles with it. So we're going to work on the back, the calf muscles, the gastroc and soleus to decrease their spasms and inflammation too. We're going to work on flexibility of all the muscles at the lower leg and help make sure we have strength and proper foot mechanics to decrease future injury in the lower leg.

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