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Shin Pain & Rugby

 

Shin splints is the term that is generally applied to pain in the shin area that occurs due to running. Medical professionals do not like to use the term shin splints as it is too vague. There are many conditions that can affect the front lower leg including Tibial Stress Fracture and anterior compartment syndrome. The term shin splints is accurately represented by Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.

Type One

- This occurs at the inside border of the shin bone and creates a stress reaction. This stress reaction usually signals a stress fracture.

Type Two

- This type happens when an irritation persists on the point in the shin bone where the Soleus and Tibialis Posterior Muscles are attached.

Type 2 injuries are commonly caused by overuse; Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome typically affects rugby players who regularly run on hard and/or uneven pitches. However, the risk of developing the syndrome may be increased by a range of other factors such as a biomechanical condition that affects the foot, knee and hip.

Shin Splints Signs & Symptoms

For those afflicted with the Medial Tibial Syndrome, the duration as well as the end of a rugby workout will produce a feeling of pain coming from the inner border of the shin. However, a proper diagnosis of Medial Stress Syndrome may only be made once Compartment Syndrome, Tibial Stress Fracture and other sources of shin pain are effectively ruled out. Confirming the diagnosis will entail a complicated process of investigations. With the supervision of a sports physician or orthopaedic doctor, bone scans and compartment pressure tests may be utilized.

Shin Splints Treatment

What you can do

Ice therapy should be an immediate treatment option as pain relief to the injured player. The direct application of ice packs may cause ice burns so reusable ice packs are ideal.

Reusable hot and cold pack

The initial treatment should comprise of the PRICE protocol: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ice packs should be applied every few hours, for twenty minutes each time. If the pain continues to persist, pain-relieving medicines and anti-inflammatory gels may be used.
In many patients, symptoms are easily treated without surgery. With rest, the patients will also engage on exercises designed to improve their flexibility and strength. Gradually, the symptoms will subside and the patient will be able to return to activities like running.

A physiotherapist or podiatrist may also perform a bio-mechanical analysis, a procedure that examines the position of the foot relative to the lower leg during walking and running. If the rugby player is over pronating (foot rolls over too much which puts excessive stress on the shin area) then orthotics will be recommended. This is vital to prevent the recurrence of the Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome and will also treat the condition.

A physiotherapy or podiatrist analysis may also detect the presence of muscle imbalance, leg length inequality as well as other causes of mal-alignment.

Continuing with exercise or any physical activity may worsen any existing shin condition so it is advisable to get a chartered physiotherapist or orthopaedic consultant to assess the shin pain immediately. However, if the patient wants to maintain fitness during treatment of the injury, non-weight bearing exercises in the pool may be ideal. In order to have a low-impact workout while allowing the injury to heal, the patient may opt to use a buoyancy belt in order to do some running exercises in the pool. The buoyancy belt will keep the patient’s feet from touching the floor of the pool, effectively eliminating any possible strain on the injured leg.

In the instance that a doctor finds that the shin pain is actually a soft tissue problem, the patient may use a compression sleeve. The sleeve will allow them to run while continuing with the treatment of the injury. While running, the sleeve will limit the pull of the muscles on the shin, thus reducing stress. Although compression sleeves do not present a cure, they can reduce symptoms while allowing the runners to engage in some level of physical activity.

If the Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome does not respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be considered

Shin Splints Prevention

What you can do

Typical of injuries involving overuse, Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome results from untimely participation in excessive physical activity. Physical activity must always increase gradually especially when starting or altering a fitness regimen. For instance, when a runner suddenly decides to run for 10 miles today even though his usual routine calls for only 2 miles of running, he inevitably puts his body at risk. Such a danger can be prevented through the maintenance of a running log.

The use of Shock Absorbing Insoles will provide better support and help reduce the stress placed on the shins. Correction of activities like flat feet and fallen arches may also prevent the development of Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. If fallen arches seem to contribute to shin pain, Dr Foot Sports Insoles may be used to provide better support. Dr Foot Sports Insoles lift the arch of the foot, this results in considerably less pressure on the arch and on the Tibialis Posterior Tendon.

 

Rugby Rescue Recommends

5 Star Rating

A one piece neoprene sleeve to provide support and compression to the Calf and shin region. Ideal for Calf muscle strain treatment and prevention.

How it Work

The Vulkan Neoprene range features premium quality neoprene that offers the best possible combination of support, compression, heat retention and comfort. Vulkan Neoprene has a unique spiral lining which is critical in removing excess sweat which avoids skin problems and is more comfortable to wear.

By retaining heat there is an increase in the elasticity of the soft tissues. This is helpful for the treatment and prevention of Calf muscle strains. By increasing local blood flow, healing and recovery times can be reduced following a pulled calf.

When to use it

For the treatment and prevention of a Calf muscle pull. It can also provide support and reassurance following recovery from a broken shin.

Ideal for calf muscle strain treatment and prevention

 

Also View the Dr Foot Sports Insoles for Shin Pain and Football

Millions of people who suffer from the shin pain use insoles for immediate relief.

Insoles provide a unique foot support system that re-aligns the lower body. The major cause of shin pain is over pronation (rolling over of the feet) which causes excessive pressure on the shin bones. Our insoles treat the underlying cause of shin pain and prevent future occurrences of the condition.

Patients have reported relief of symptoms within 7 days of using this product.

 

Read more about Shin Pain Insoles

 

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Insoles for Shin Pain  

 

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