Although Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter, it seems like spring is just around the corner. This means that people are getting off of their treadmills and starting to run outside. The problem with this is that people start to get shin splints. Shin splints can be described as pain in the front or back muscle groups of the leg (below the knee). They are primarily caused by an overload phenomenon due to overuse, running, or jumping on hard surfaces causing leg muscles to be torn away from their bony insertions. It can also be said that many cases are due to improper shoes and faulty mechanics of the leg and foot during the gait cycle. Pain usually begins right away into the activity or right after cessation of activity. Pain can be described as a deep/dull ache and a throbbing sensation locally. Symptoms are usually a gradual onset and severity increases with continued stress. Palpation of the painful area often elicits tenderness. Front shin splints frequently occur in runners overtraining on hills and doing up/down running. Symptoms are usually worse running down hill.

Acute treatment consists of applying ice packs for 20 minutes every 2 hours. You could also do an ice massage over the area (freeze water in a Styrofoam cup and peel away as ice melts with massage). In the sub-acute phase, transverse friction massage, myofascial release, PIR muscle stretching, trigger point therapy, manipulation, rehab, and most importantly orthotics can be implemented. In fact, I fit patients for orthotics here in my office and most insurance companies pay for them. By correcting ones gait with proper foot orthotics, shin splints can easily be treated, prevented, or kept from re-occurring. Some things you can do at home to prevent and treat shin splints include: shock-absorbing running shoes, rest and avoiding aggravating activities, gradually working up to prior training levels, stretching, and considering changing your running style. Nutritional support for acute pain/inflammation and tissue healing can also be implemented.

I also wanted to let you know that we have a new promotion here at Nill Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center. From January through March, for any new/past patient who comes in for a treatment, a FREE 15 minute massage will be given. So come on in, if you are in pain or not, and take advantage of this opportunity. Remember that chiropractic is good for not only treating pain but preventing it as well. Studies show that chiropractic can help the immune system and prevent other diseases like arthritis. We accept all insurance and if you’re a cash patient who doesn’t have insurance, or their insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic, call and ask how you can get 25% off of your bill.

If you or anyone you know has any questions or would like to know more of what I can do for you, then give me a call to set up your free initial consultation. Again, please contact me by phone at 260-459-2205 or by e-mail at, Nill Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center is located at 4656 W. Jefferson Blvd. Suite 240 Fort Wayne, IN 46804. Also, feel free to check out our website to see all that we have to offer at References: Huff L. and Brady D.M. Instant Access to Chiropractic Guidelines and Protocols Mosby: 1999; 273-279

The Waynedale News Staff

James P. Nill, D.C.

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