How to Deal with Shin Splints

One of the most common sports related conditions I come across is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) or as it is most commonly known as Shin Splints.  The diagnosis of shin splints is expressed from a recurring dull ache over the lower and medial portion of the lower leg between the knee and the ankle.

This condition is common for athletes who engage in sports where running and heavy jumping are involved.  There are several theories as to why this condition occurs and it is challenging to decipher whether it is a single or multiple cause and effect relationship.  Some of these causes include:

  • Excessive running and jumping (especially on hard surfaces).
  • Mobility limitations of the joint, particularly the ankle.
  • Stability restrictions and imbalances of the muscles of the lower leg including: the calves and the Anterior and Posterior Tibialis
  • Excessive pronation (rolling in-ward) of the ankle while moving.

If the problem is not treated the condition could move toward a more serious stage which can include a stress fracture.  It is best to initially get checked out by your physician and if you are not at a high risk for a more serious issue then you can start with some self treatment.

Some of the best forms of self-treatment include:

  • Soft tissue work including foam rolling of the lower leg and plantar fascia
  • Mobility work for the ankle
  • Stretching of the calf muscles and both the Anterior and Posterior Tibialis.

Check out the video below and learn how to do the above self-treatments and help alleviate your shin splint pain.

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IT Band Syndrome

If you are an athlete or weekend warrior whose athletic endeavors involve some form of running chances are you have felt the outside of your leg become tight, and in some of the more extreme cases, there could be pain in the hip and more commonly knee joints. This is commonly called IT Band Syndrome and if left untreated it may become debilitating.
Lucky for us there are some simple and effective ways we can ease that band back into a relaxed state and get you to continue to perform without pain. In this post I have made a video that describes how to do soft tissue work in the area, what exercises are best for strengthening that area and what stretches alleviate tightness in the area.

First thing is first, I will give you a brief overview of what the IT band is and why it gives so many of us problems.

The IT Band is short for Iliotibial Band which is essentially a long tendon that originates from the pelvis and runs along the pelvis towards the outside of the knee. The primary job of the IT band is to stabilize the knee when the leg is moving during activity.

If the muscles that connect to this band are not firing or aligned properly then the band may become overworked and the excessive tension and friction can pull on the knee joint causing pain and even inflammation in that area.
Check out the video below and get ready to fix your ailing IT band.

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