Shinbad the Painful
I hate shin splints. They are not as dangerous as other recurring injuries, but they sure are bothersome. They have been so painful at times that I’ve even had to skip ballin days just to allow my legs to recover.
In reality, the term, “shin splint” is really a catch all phrase that refers to any pain that occurs in the lower leg junction. Also known as “medial tibial stress syndrome” there are mainly 2 types that occur regularly in society. The one I would like to focus on though is the kind that runs along the inside of your Tibia.
While I have had experiences with anterior shin splints when I was younger, posterior shin splints are the ones I deal with as of now.
There are many factors that can cause shin splints like flat feet, shoes that don’t fit well, or in my case improper running biomechanics. When I run, my foot tends to strike more on the fore-foot and medial side (area of the big toe) which puts a lot of stress on my Soleus and Tibialis Posterior. This stress can lead to micro-tears in the bone and muscles of the lower leg that ultimately create a build up of painful scar tissue.
Now I’m going to be honest with you, I am not entirely sure how to fix my bad running mechanics. So if you are looking for info on how to accomplish that then I suggest you find some articles on how to improve running mechanics. If however, you want to just find a solution to relieving your pain than keep reading.
The method that I developed to treat my shin splints is nothing new to science, but the technique makes it easier than anything else I’ve ever come across. It uses a type of deep tissue massage designed to break down the development of scar tissue and restore muscles back to their original form.
Normally when performing massage therapy, either yourself or a licensed therapist massages the painful part of your body with their hands to help work out the tissue. Here we will be doing it ourselves and using an elevated ledge to rest the back part of our calves on like this:
Generally you want what ever area is hurting you the most to be centered on the edge of whatever it is you’re resting your leg on. For me I use the foot-board at the end of my bed which gives me the luxury of laying down while I massage my calves. Once you’ve found something to rest your legs on, just roll them back and forth for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you feel noticeably better. A bit of a disclaimer here, your legs will feel very sore after doing this for a while. This is a good sign because it means that your body is breaking down the scar tissue and rebuilding healthy muscle.
Sometimes you will have to apply extra pressure by putting one leg on top of the other like so:
After your done rolling your leg thoroughly, perform a calf wall stretch to relieve most of the built up tension in your leg.
This part will probably feel AMAZING! Rinse and repeat this process as many times as you like. Within 2-3 days your pain should be significantly reduced. I swear by this method as it gives me constant relief from my shin splints that other techniques such as plain old stretching cannot. If you liked this tutorial let me know in the comment section. Keep DIYing everyone! (not dying in-case you were wondering ;))