Shin splint is a condition developed due to pressure on the shin bone. In this condition, pain and sometimes swelling is felt in the front of the shin bone (tibia). It can happen in one or both the legs. It hurts during or after exercise or strenuous activities and is better by rest. It is caused due to inflammation of the muscles and other connective tissues around the shin bone. Its main cause is overdoing exercises or strenuous activities. It improves by stopping such activities for a while. Massage can loosen the stressed-out muscles and connective tissues.
Should You Massage Shin Splints?
Massage can improve shin splints. Shin splint is a condition that refers to pain in the front of the lower leg. It can happen in one or both the legs. The pain is centered at the mid-portion between knee and ankle on the tibia bone. It is caused due to inflammation of the muscles, tendons and other connective tissues around the shin bone. It is most commonly seen in dancers, athletes, gymnasts and military recruits.
How Massage Can Help In Shin Splints?
Massage can improve shin splints as it relaxes the tension on the calf muscles and other nearby attachments. The massage should be done in both front and back portion of the leg for better results. It reduces pain and swelling.
Types Of Massage For Shin Splints
Deep Tissue Massage– Deep tissue massage for shin splints stretches the muscles and helps a lot in relieving tension and tightness on the muscles and tissues attached to the shin bone. This relieves deep pain and prevents the formation and accumulation of scar tissues.
Relaxation Massage– Relaxation massage for shin splints exerts light to medium pressure on the muscles. It improves the circulation in the surrounding area. It also helps in the movement of the metabolic waste away from the muscles through the lymphatic fluid.
Sports Massage – Sports massage accelerates healing by reducing the time for recovery after exercises. It is targeted on the muscle-tendon junctions. It also assists in increasing the flexibility of the muscles to avoid the risk of injury.
Tight calf muscles causes’ pain in the shin bone as it transfers lots of stress on the bone. Repetition of the stress of the connective tissues attached to the muscles also exerts pressure that radiates to the shin bone. This leads to the inflammation of the shin bone. Flat feet or over-pronation triggered by imbalances in the muscles is also one of the causes of shin splints.
Excessive strain on shin bone is caused by overuse of the calf muscles and other tissues attached to it. This exerts a force on the shin bone (tibia) causing tiny cracks on the bone. These cracks can grow to stress fractures in a course of time if the provoking activity is continued. In this situation, pain increases a lot.
The activities that trigger pain in the shin bone are-
- Exercises-its duration, intensity, and frequency
- Running- especially on hard and uneven surfaces such as hills
- Sports like basketball, tennis, etc
- Military training
- Shin Splints Symptoms
- Pain in one or both the legs
- Dull or sharp aching pain in the front of the lower leg
- Pain during or after exercises
- Pain ameliorates with rest
- Pain when any activity exerts pressure on the shin bone
- It sometimes causes localized swelling of the bone
- Muscle pain
- Numbness and weakness in the feet
In severe cases, the shin may appear hot and extremely painful even at rest
Shin Splints Diagnosis
It can be diagnosed by its symptoms, physical examination, X-rays and other imaging scans.
Shin splints represent pain in the shin bone or front bone of lower leg provoked by frequent exercises or repetitive strenuous activities. It improves itself with rest and cessation of provoking activities. Massage in front and back of the shin bone can also help in the improvement of the condition.