Your poor shin splits. It’s a pity really, because shin splints are so often misunderstood in our world of modern medicine.

What actually is a shin splint?

Good question.

Let’s start at the source, your shins. If you feel for a second, right on top of your foot, there is a bone there in the ankle that acts like a fulcrum to the lower leg called the talus bone. This bone is situated between two of your lower leg bones called the tibia and fibula. Can you feel it there?

When the talus bone is either too loose or gets jammed between the tibia and fibula, these two bones can start to separate. If this separating begins, any continued sports or physical activity will cause continued separation of these bones.

You know that painful feeling we attribute to having shin splints? Of course you do. Here’s what’s happening. The muscle that holds the tibia and fibula together is called the tibialis posterior. When the tibia and fibula start to separate apart, the tibialis posterior muscle begins to tear and that’s when we start to feel that horrible shin splint pain.

Treatment myths

After asking your doctor or trainer for help with painful shin splints, have you ever had them tape up the front of your shin? The pain isn’t being caused by anything happening in the front of the leg, so this taping method is ironically, not helpful at all.

Possible reasons for shin splints

It is true that falling arches can sometimes cause shin splints. Falling arches can be caused from a variety of things. One cause is too much room for your talus bone to move around due to past ankle sprains. Another cause could be from diet choices weakening the muscles that keep your arches supported. Remember how each muscle in the body is related to an internal organ? (Did you miss that article? Read it here.)

If shin splints are something your body continues to struggle with, be sure to mention it to Dr. Brad during your next visit to the clinic.

The best way to help your body during shin splint pain

Next time you have shin splint pain, your body probably needs to have the talus bone popped back into place. Dr. Brad can help with that. He can also help you to properly tape around the tibia and fibula so there isn’t any leeway for the bones to begin separating again. It might be necessary to also tape the arch of the ankle, so as not to put any extra pressure there.

Learn how to properly tape your shin splints in this post.

Some people with shin splits can take weeks to heal, but others often feel immediate relief of their shin pain when they are treated and cared for in this way.

Are you an athlete? Read here for more practical ways to keep your body healthy and strong.

And as always, if you have more questions please don’t hesitate to set up an appointment to come see us at the clinic.