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Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner – The Infamous “Shin Splints”

Lower leg pain is a very common occurrence with those starting a new fitness routine including CrossFit.  Shin splints are a very specific type of lower leg injury that is a result of overused muscles in the lower leg.  When shin splints occur you will have pain either on the front of your lower leg bone (Tibia) or just to the inside of your lower leg.  This pain is most pronounced with jumping or running activities and is most likely associated with either overused muscles or improper shoe wear.  

With improper shoe wear comes increased stress put on your lower leg muscles to create a “stable” foot and causes tearing of the muscle fibers, most notably at the tendons.  This is the same issue you will have with muscles that are overused, most commonly associated with a drastic change in your training routine.  The proper shoe depends not only on your workout activity but also your foot type and your lower leg muscle strength.

Treatment and prevention of Shin Splints involves stretching, strengthening and daily maintenance of your lower leg muscles along with an adequate warm-up before each workout session.  

It is important to distinguish Shin Splints from some of the other common lower leg injuries such as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis and Compartment Syndrome as the treatment varies drastically.  Should you be experiencing any of the above symptoms contact your local Sports Injury Specialist for an evaluation.  

Dr. Andrew Hawley, Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician