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Cramps & shin splints: what to do when running hurts

Shin splints are typically the ‘overuse’ of the tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior muscles groups. Accumulation of metabolic waste and decreased tissue pliability is at the root of symptoms. The tibialis anterior fascia forms a literally ‘stirrup’ under arch of foot connecting with the peroneals/fibularis muscles on outside of Tibia.

Tibialis (anterior and posterior) controls concentric-inversion of ankle and the Peroneals controls concentric-eversion of ankle. When walking ,or running the tibilais anterior also controls eccentric-lowering phase of foot and tibial internal rotation. These complex factors, Ultimately connected up to the Hips via the IT band, are the functional anatomy behind ‘shin splints.’

Keeping ‘arches’ open with consistent self massage of soles of feet , calves , shins and IT Bands coupled with kinetic stretching of ankles both passive and active end ranges of plantar and dorsi Flexion , is essential. Icing and Epsom baths post activity will also help remove metabolic waste from tissues. Ultimately a ‘balanced approach’ of activity and rest is necessary. If one is exceeding the work capacity of the tissues , inflammation and injury is guaranteed.

Hip Internal Rotation is also an essential point . Due to the fact that as ones foot lands in gait, the femur internally rotates, followed by tibial internal rotation , followed by ankle eversion . If the Hip socket lacks ‘internal rotation,’ it’s easy to see how the chain downwards would not dissipate energy very well and the knees and ankle joints would end up taking the excess forces on.


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