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Massage Therapy for Shin Splints

Shin Splints and Massage

Shin splints are usually muscle, tendon, or peritoneum sprains/strains along the tibia. The tibia is the front bone in your lower leg. It supports most of the body weight with every step, and its supporting muscles absorb the remaining forces.

Massage Therapy for Shin SplintsShin splints are common in people who increase their exercise activity. Running and jumping sports are common activities that cause shin splints. Walking places some stress onto the lower legs. Running places more stress, and jumping causes even more of an impact. The pounding or impact overwhelms the muscles and tendons leading to injury.

Think of how smooth an Olympic distance runner moves across the track. Even through they run 60-100 miles a week, they are very light on their feet and the impact is minimal. Most of us do not run that smooth. Slower and heavy pounding running gates send more forces into the legs than smooth runners. Shin splints are common in people running 2-3 miles because their muscles are not used to the impact and they tend not to be smooth runners. People who overpronate also increase the stress on the low leg muscles, leading to a greater likelihood of developing shin splints.

When the muscle is injured, it starts as mild stiffness and pain. Most people do not think much about it, and the pain gradually increases. It can become very tender to the touch and painful with any amount of running. Swelling might be noticeable along the tibia. The pain is relieved with icing and rest.

It is common for people to start developing shin splints, and then take a few weeks off to rest and recover. However, when they start running again the shin splint pain returns. This occurs because not all of the muscles and tendons were healed, and the impact quickly aggravated the old injury sites.

Massage therapy works to decrease the pain and muscle spasms in the lower legs. Shin splints might be very painful in one or two locations, but usually the entire leg is effected. During the first massage, people comment how tender they are all over. They only expected to feel pain right around the injury site, but realize there are many painful spots in all the leg muscles. If treatment only addressed the most painful spots, there would be a high likelihood of the pain returning. People recover faster and are less likely to have an injury aggravation if all the muscles are treated.

Massage Therapy for Shin Splints Before the pain became debilitating, all of the muscles were getting overwhelmed. There were small spots injured in all of the muscles of the lower legs, including the tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus. Great treatment involves getting all of these small spots to heal. These spots will also respond quicker than the most painful spots, and when these muscles heal they will help protect the most injured spots.

Massage is going to address all of the muscles of the lower legs. After several sessions you will notice a big difference in how loose the legs feel. The pain will disappear and you will notice how different healthy leg muscles feel during the massage compared to the injured area.

It is recommended people ice to further help decrease the muscle pain and inflammation. People who ice get better faster than people who don’t.

We see many people who come in for monthly massage to help protect the legs. Massage will help prevent the likelihood of an injury from developing by decreasing the muscle spasms and help blood flow through the muscles.

Massage is an excellent preventive and treatment options for shin splints.