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The Cause of Shin Splints

“Shin splints” is a catch-all term for lower leg pain. The cause of shin splints is usually from abnormal stress to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones in the lower extremity. There are a number of factors contributing to shin splints such as overpronation of the foot, inadequate stretching, wearing worn or poorly fitting shoes, or excessive stress placed on one leg or hip. Another common finding associated with shin splints is a misalignment of the talus (ankle bone).

When you run, the talus naturally rotates relative to the tibia & fibula (the two lower leg bones). After prolonged stress to the foot and ankle, the talus will often lose its healthy alignment becoming locked in rotation. This is a misalignment problem and it causes great stress on the soft tissues between the tibia and fibula.

This talus misalignment will cause pressure between the two lower leg bones. As a result, the fibula will spread apart from the tibia.

This will cause significant stress and strain on the supporting soft tissues in the leg and calf.

This condition may occasionally feel worse in the morning, once the leg has rested throughout the night. However, shin splints are normally most painful when forcibly trying to lift your foot up at the ankle and flex your foot during physical activity. This motion is called “dorsi-flexion” and is an integral ankle movement when running.

Continued running will exacerbate this condition causing the leg pain to become unbearable. Runners and other athletes may have to discontinue all activity for a period of time until the pain subsides. However, there is a very effective solution for shin splints without having to discontinue your activities in most cases.

Specific chiropractic adjustments to the ankle and foot joints will alleviate much of the stress on those strained leg muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When the talus regains its healthy alignment, that stretching force between the tibia and fibula becomes relaxed.

The fact that we adjust the feet and ankles is unique for chiropractors. Where most chiropractors focus mostly on the spine, we also attract many patients for conditions involving the feet, knees, and other extremity joints. Our foot patients love getting their feet adjusted!

If you or someone you know is dealing with shin splints, we recommend a chiropractic evaluation to the ankle, foot and knee.


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Birdsall Chiropractic Hand and Foot Clinic

Dr. Russ Birdsall, D.C
11154 Huron St. Suite 106, Northglenn, CO 80234
Chiropractor Northglenn CO

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday:
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Walk-ins are Welcome!

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