Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is more commonly known as “Shin Splints.” This syndrome describes pain on the front and side of the shin bone in the lower leg. Shin splints are common in running and jumping athletes including gymnasts who run and tumble frequently.
Shin splints are thought to be caused by repetitive stress applied to the tissues of the lower leg. Shin splints develop over time rather than from a single incident. Symptoms include pain along the front of the shin bone (tibia) as well as tenderness along the bone or muscles along the bone. Pain worsens with activity, especially running and jumping, and swelling may occur.
Gymnasts are at more risk for shin splints due to several factors. First, they train barefoot; therefore the muscles in the foot and lower leg have to work harder to stabilize without a shoe. Second, their tumbling skills occur from a higher height than the average runner (several feet vs. several inches in running). With this consideration, the force traveling through a gymnasts foot and lower leg is much greater, usually several times their body weight.
Seeking help from a physical therapist can aid in the treatment of shin splints. A physical therapist will evaluate the entire lower quarter of your body to ensure adequate strength, flexibility and balance throughout to get you back to your sport as quickly and safely as possible. A physical therapist will design an individualized program including massage, stretching, strengthening, balance training, and muscle re-education to decrease pain and reduce injury re-occurrence.
To get started, schedule a free assessment with one of our experts. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our telehealth platform.
Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico. Schedule a free assessment in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat where our team can assess your pain and provide recommended treatment options.
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