The Cause of Shin Splints
"Shin splints" is a catch-all term for lower leg pain that is usually caused from abnormal stress to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones in the lower extremity.
There are a number of factors contributing to shin splints such as overpronation of the foot, inadequate stretching, wearing worn or poorly fitting shoes, or excessive stress placed on one leg or hip. Another common finding associated with shin splints is a misalignment of the talus (ankle bone).
When you run, the talus naturally rotates relative to the tibia & fibula (the two lower leg bones). After prolonged stress to the foot and ankle, the talus will often lose its healthy alignment becoming locked in an abnormally rotated position. This is a misalignment problem and it causes great stress on the soft tissues between the tibia and fibula.
This talus misalignment will cause pressure between the two lower leg bones. As a result the fibula will splay apart from the tibia. This slight spreading apart of the two lower leg bones will cause significant stress and strain on several of the muscles and supporting soft tissues in the leg and calf.
Continued running will exacerbate this condition causing the leg pain to become unbearable. Runners and other athletes may have to discontinue all activity for a period of time until the pain subsides. However there is a very effective solution for shin splints without having to discontinue your activities in most cases.
Specific chiropractic adjustments to the ankle and foot joints will alleviate much of the stress on those strained leg muscles, tendons and ligaments. When the talus regains its healthy alignment, that stretching force between the tibia and fibula becomes relaxed.
The fact that we adjust the feet and ankles is unique for chiropractors. Where most chiropractors focus mostly on the spine, we also attract many patients for conditions involving the feet, knees and other extremity joints. Our foot patients love getting their feet adjusted!