Shin Splints in Happy Valley

Ascent Physical Therapy’s System –

  • Hands on and instrument assisted muscle release techniques.
  • Ankle mechanics with dynamic reactive strength and stability training.
  • Specific taping strategies.
  • Modification of footwear/orthotics or consultation of what to look for in gear.
  • Prevention strategies to protect against future flare ups.

Most people begin to experience shin splits as an overtraining or overuse injury. Basically, your training volume/intensity increased faster than your body could adapt resulting in muscle strains in your shins. The term shin splints is often used broadly to encompass multiple possible conditions in the region. Why you are experiencing symptoms and what the specific underlying culprit is can be identified with one of our doctoral trained physical therapists. Identifying the why and what are important not only for getting rid of your current pain, but teaching you how to prevent your symptoms from coming back! If you experience progressively intense pain that feels throbbing, you notice discoloration in that shin/foot, and/or have numbness/tingling, you need to call your primary care clinician for consultation of possible compartment syndrome.

Getting Started

  • Immediately reduce the amount of time in the stress inducing situations (usually running). The tissues are continuously being inflamed. You can’t “run through” this condition. Give yourself at least a week.
  • Seek consultation about training program design or start tracking your workouts.
  • If your symptoms went away after a week but then came back quickly after trying to return to running, call our office for an evaluation to determine what’s going on.

How PT Can Help

  • Modifying activities to unload strained tissues
  • Prescribe targeted stretches to eliminate cramping/tightness
  • Application of specialized taping strategies for structural support
  • Hands on tissue mobilization to restore normal motion
  • Observation and corrective coaching recommendations if needed
  • Guidance of selective footwear & orthotic use
  • Prescribe targeted strengthening and specific loading of injured tissues
  • Appropriate compressive garments for continued sport participation

How to Avoid Shin Splints

A common strategy runners utilize for their training design is known as the 10% rule. Essentially, it encourages a gradual and steady increase in your weekly mileage to prevent overtraining & overuse injuries. It may seem like a slow and tedious path but if you normally run 30 miles per week and suddenly bumped up to 40 miles for the next week, your risk (not guaranteed) of developing an injury increases. So, if you’ve taken some time off from training and are in the process of getting started again, don’t ramp up too quickly! The same could be said if you’ve been training but maybe set a new goal of a race or event later in the year, plan ahead so you can increase your training regimen safely!

If shin splints have been interfering with your life, call us today to get started on a plan of care that works for you. Ascent Physical Therapy is conveniently located off Sunnyside Road in Happy Valley. We also love treating our neighboring communities of Damascus, Gresham, Clackamas, and Sandy at our top rated physical therapy clinic!