Shin splints is a generic term to describe generalized pain in the lower leg. There are two common reasons for this, which can be treated in a reasonably straightforward way with shockwave treatment. There are two more complicated reasons, which we will identify, which will need further medical investigation and subsequent treatment.
The primary type of lower leg pain is to be found along the inner aspect of the shin bone and towards the back edge. If you run your finger along that inner edge of shin bone where it is just connecting to the muscle and you find points of tenderness, then it is most likely that you have medial tibial stress syndrome. This is generally caused by badly fitted running shoes or over pronating feet and account for over 80% of shin splints diagnosis. If left untreated medial compartment syndrome can lead to micro-fractures on the inner aspect of the tibia.
Exertional compartment syndrome effects the muscle of the lower leg that runs along the outside at the front. This type of shin splint usually only comes on when running, then stops when you stop exercising. This can very often be caused by an imbalance of the musculature of the lower leg in between the front and the back and particularly if the calves are tight.
Additionally stress fractures feel better in the morning because the bone has rested all night, whereas with exertional compartment syndrome the pain is worse in the morning, because the soft tissues have tightened overnight.
Common Causes of Shin splints:
Anterior compartment syndrome may also present as pain in the lateral musculature of the lower leg, but is usually accompanied with swelling, nerve sensations and eventually muscle weakness. To diagnose this condition correctly the pressure of the anterior compartment has to be gauged using specialist equipment.
If you have pain along the front edge of the shinbone, on the blade aspect of the shinbone and you find a tender spot, then you may have a stress fracture along the front edge. This needs to be diagnosed accurately by x-ray or scan.
Shockwave Therapy is successful in treating shin splints because it relaxes the muscles, stimulates tendon repair and unites superficial bone fractures.