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Posterior Shin Splints

Many runners at some point in time will experience pain commonly referred to as shin splints. Shin splints are typically referred to by location of pain or dysfunction. Like any injury, far too often the area of discomfort becomes the area of focus. Strain of the tibialis posterior causes pain typically located on the back of the lower leg.

The tibialis posterior muscle runs along the back of the shin down toward the inside of the foot. Along with the tibialis anterior muscle, the tibialis posterior slows and controls foot pronation. Pronation is a desired motion or the foot for shock absorption while running. Excessive foot pronation can cause increase strain on the musculature causing pain and potentially leading to failure of the tissue.

One common treatment for limiting the amount of pronation is utilizing a stability shoe to decrease and control the motion of the foot. This may work well if the foot weakness is the lone cause of dysfunction. When the excessive pronation is due to other factors such as decreased hip extension, first toe extension, or weakness of the gluteal muscles (as examples) the pain likely will occur in a different region of the body.

Gait analysis and Selective Functional Movement Assessment (movement exams) help determine the area of dysfunction rather than solely focusing on the location of pain. Active Release Techniques and joint manipulation can help increase restricted joint range of motion. Functional exercises increase strength and reinforce proper movement patterns.

If you would like more information regarding exams and treatment options, please contact the office via phone or email. Our focus is to help you continue your active lifestyle.

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