Bio Anatomy: Shin Splints
Tibialis Anterior and/or Tibialis Posterior tendonitis or “shin splints” generally refers to pain anywhere along the shinbone (tibia) between the knee and the ankle. It occurs as an overuse injury with damage and inflammation of the tendons and muscles that run up the shin. Shin splints are commonly seen in runners and athletes.
Signs and symptoms may include pain along the front inside edge of your shin. You may also have pain on the inner back side of your leg. The area may be tender to the touch and in some cases can become red and swollen. You may be able to reproduce the pain of shin splints by pointing your foot and toes down, but it is mostly aggravated by activity and exercise. Your doctor may consider an x-ray to rule out stress fractures and other conditions.
One cause of shin splints is overuse of the involved muscles. This can happen with an increase in exercise levels, repetitive movements as in running and other stresses to the lower leg such as hard or changing running surfaces.
Another major (and often overlooked) contributor to shin splints is over-pronation or arch flattening from muscle inhibition and compensation. Many people have come to rely on the cushioning and ‘support’ that shoes often provide, causing the muscles to become a little lazy, and they lose some stability and shock absorption capabilities.
Before we swing the pendulum too far the other way and become followers of ‘minimalist shoes’ and ‘barefoot running’, we must recognize that proper progression is key; we must consider the progression of muscular demands otherwise we could easily develop new compensations.
In order to achieve effective and pain free movement the muscles that control the foot and leg must be working properly and balanced. The preferred method of assessing and correcting weaknesses and muscle imbalances is a biomechanics assessment system known as Muscle Activation Techniques (M.A.T.). M.A.T. corrects the imbalances that lead to pain, inflexibility and limited physical performance.
With Certified and Master Certified Specialists throughout the country, it has become easier for any person currently enrolled in a physical activity program to see a M.A.T. practitioner to receive an assessment of his or her unique biomechanical needs.
Bio-Dynamix, a fitness and wellness firm in Shelton, CT, is the longest standing M.A.T. practice in New England, and specializes in precision exercise, conditioning and muscle balancing. Questions or Comments, Contact Bio-Dynamix 3 Corporate Dr, Shelton, CT 203-225-0772 http://www.bio-dynamix.com