Shin & Calf
Shin Splints & Calf Pain Treatment
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Gastrocneimus/Soleus Muscle Tears and Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome
Shin splints or as it should be known medial tibial stress syndrome occurs as a result of excessive pull of the soft tissues (muscle and fascia) on the inside of the tibia (shin bone). This is sometimes caused by rapid or prolonged rolling in of the foot (pronation) or sudden increases in training distance or duration (especially seen in runners). Untreated this can led to stress fractures (micro fractures/small breaks) of the tibia.
Calf Muscle Tear Injuries
Tears of the calf muscles gastrocneimus and or soleus are graded by severity. A grade 1 tear occurs when a few muscle fibres are torn these normally heal within 3-4 weeks. A grade 2 tear is a partial and substantial tear of the muscle sometimes up to two thirds of the fibres are torn. Grade 3 tear is defined as a complete tear or rupture of the muscle; this can require surgery and lengthy periods of immobilisation.
Chronic Exertional Compartment syndrome refers to a condition where the compartment in which the muscle is contained becomes over filled with blood during exercise and as a result the nerves and blood vessels within the muscle are affected. In this condition the affected person will experience a sensation of pain and pressure building within the lower legs followed by numbness normally affecting the feet. Only cessation of activity will return the leg to normal. Treatment of shin and calf pain includes manual therapy (hands on techniques), specific exercises, ultrasound, footwear modification, addition of insoles (orthoses) and life style changes. Sometimes surgery may be required.
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