Seattle Massage, Health and Wellness Blog

Seattle Massage Therapy for Shin Splints

by Thrive on 25 April 2012 at 12:23

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seattle-massage-shin-splintsIf you have started experiencing pain down the front or just behind your shins, especially during or after exercise, you might have shin splints.  The technical term is “medial tibial stress syndrome” and usually results from too much pressure on the shinbone and the nearby tissues, causing pain and inflammation.  Specifically, the tibial anterior muscle can develop little tears where connected to the tibia and hurts during exercise or the next day.

Runners, joggers, and hikers are the most common victims of shin splints, although anyone who does exercise that starts and stops suddenly, like tennis, basketball or soccer may experience the pain of shin splints.  If you are experiencing shin splints, it might be time for a Seattle sports massage.

Causes of Shin Splints

When you run, pressure is imposed on the shinbone and the tissues that connect the muscles to the shinbone.  When this pressure becomes too great, pain results.

There are some specific activities that are more likely to cause shin splints, including the following:

-          Running on a sharp or slanted surface, such as a hill
-          Running and stopping abruptly
-          Running for too long, too hard, or too fast
-          Using inadequate footwear that does not support the feet properly


While leg soreness is common for athletes of all levels, there are some specific symptoms that indicate shin splints, such as the following:

-          Low-level swelling in the lower leg

-          Pain or tenderness along the front of the shin or inside the lower leg

-          Discomfort from the throbbing aches in lower leg

-          Small bumps on the front of the lower leg or areas that are tender to the touch

Over time, shin splints may progress to the point where the soreness continues even when you are not running or otherwise exercising.

Other Risk Factors

People who have just started a new running regime or another new sport are more likely to develop shin splints because your muscles are not used to the activity.  In addition, if you are performing a high-impact exercise, more force exerts onto your bones and muscles, which may cause shin splints.

Another risk factor is the tendency to pronate, or roll your feet inward while running.  Rigid arches or flat feet often cause this.

The intensity of military training often causes new recruits to experience shin splints until they adjust to the rigorous physical demands.

Treatment Options

If you are experiencing shin splints, ice the area for 20 minutes several times a day to help reduce swelling. Keep your legs elevated to release the stress and pressure on the area and take a basic pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  Rest and stay off your feet for a little while.

Check your shoes to see if they are worn out, also shoes should have some sort of good shock absorption for walking or running.

Seattle Massage Therapy for Shin Splints

shin-splints-massage-in-seattleUnfortunately, sometimes shin splints do not resolve and further treatment is necessary.  If this is the case, consider getting Seattle sports massage therapy to help resolve and improve the condition as well as prevent future occurrences.

Massage is a valuable tool when recuperating from anterior shin splints. Bodywork can drastically reduce the tightened and fibrotic muscle tissue typical of this injury.

When shin splints occur, the muscle fibers tend to get harder when they heal, which results in limited movement and increasing the possibility of future injury.  However, Seattle sports massage therapy can loosen these fibers and increase the range of motion.

A qualified Seattle massage therapist, such as the massage therapists at Thrive Healing Massage in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seatttle, will carefully massage the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles to increase the circulation and loosen up the fibers on the muscles during a massage.  Essentially, the tears in the leg muscles develop scar tissue that stiffens up the muscles but a massage therapist can break up this scar tissue through deep tissue massage during a Seattle sports massage.

When the scar tissue is broken up, the leg muscles will have better circulation and movement.  You may need more than one session of Seattle sports massage therapy to achieve full results.

Other benefits of Seattle sports massage therapy:

-          Reduced soreness
-          Nervous system relaxation
-          Better flexibility
-          Reduced muscle stiffness and tension
-          Increased blood flow
-          Better range of motion
-          Reduced risk of future injury
-          Fewer muscle spasms

Recovery from Shin Splints 

massage-seattle-shin-splintsAlong with a sports massage, gradual rehabilitation is important to prevent a recurrence of shin splints.

Always stretch properly before exercising and start your exercise program slowly.

Note that if your Seattle massage therapy does not resolve the situation, you may have a stress fracture in your tibia.  Contact your doctor for an x-ray.

Thrive Healing Massage in Seattle

Call us at (206) 547-5677  for more information about Seattle sports massage therapy for shin splints, or schedule your appointment.

Don’t accept anything less than qualified, professional Seattle massage therapy experts to help you resolve your pain and get you back on your feet as fast as possible.  The Seattle massage therapy team at Thrive will get you moving again!

Categories: Massage Articles, sports-massage


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