What is shin pain?
Shin pain may result from injuries to the front of the outer leg. While the exact injury is not known, shin splints seem to result from inflammation due to injury of the tendon (posterior peroneal tendon) and adjacent tissues in the front of the outer leg. Shin pain occur most commonly in runners or aggressive walkers.
The pain in the shin is characteristically located on the outer edge of the mid region of the leg next to the shinbone (tibia). An area of discomfort measuring 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in length is frequently present. Pain is often noted at the early portion of the workout, then lessens, only to reappear near the end of the training session.
Shin splint discomfort is often described as dull at first. However, with continuing trauma, the pain can become so extreme as to cause the athlete to stop workouts altogether.
Suggestions for treating shin pain
Previously, two different treatment management strategies were used: total rest or a "run through it" approach. The total rest was often an unacceptable option to the athlete.
The run through it approach was even worse. It often led to worsening of the injury and of the symptoms.
Currently, a multifaceted approach of relative rest is successfully utilised to restore the athlete to a pain-free level of competition. Manual therapy, such as osteopathy, myotherapy and remedial massage are shown to reduce tightness of the muscles in the shin, as well as stimulating healing of the muscle tissue.
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