Sports injury massage

Shin Splints- enjoy the Bristol 10k without them!

Sports Massage Therapist – Luke Norland writes:

It’s the Bristol 10k is this Sunday!suspension bridge

This, from the official website-

“The course will take you under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge with spectacular views along the Avon Gorge before entering the city centre. With an electric atmosphere and famous Bristol welcome, your journey to the finish line will be truly special! “

I’ve seen quite a few patients presenting with shin splints this last fortnight.

Conceptual 3D human front lower leg muscle anatomy isolated on white backgroundDon’t let them stop you from enjoying your race! Come to C1 and have some therapeutic sports massage to ease the muscles in the calf, and especially the tibialis anterior. This is the muscle that runs up alongside the shin and is responsible for dorsiflexion of the ankle.  So, when you lift up your toes whilst keeping the foot flat.  It is a muscle that can get inflamed from overuse and running is one of the main causes, as it is used extensively in the gait cycle.

What should you do?

Here is one of the main trigger points for helping reduce the pain associated with shin splints.

Of course, massage to the soleus and gastrocnemius (the posterior calf muscles) as well as the peroneus tendon (lateral/ outside of the calf) will greatly benefit performance, relieving built-up tension over the weeks of training for the 10k. The tibialis anterior is tricky to stretch>  This means that it can be difficult to eradicate shin splints without some sort of massage treatment. However, with the trusty tennis ball, you can tone down the muscle and in particular the trigger points. This needs to be done carefully and slowly, sensing the ‘feel’ of the tissue as your body weight puts some pressure into the ball. If you go too quickly, you run the risk of aggravating tissue that could already be ball

trigger-pointsWhen the shin splints are out of the acute phase of inflammation, that may last between a few days and up to 3 weeks.peroneus  This  depends on your body’s healing time and whether you continue to run-through the pain.  After the acute phase, massage can be applied safely and effectively. Other considerations would be to see a Podiatrist regarding orthotics which may help correct an imbalanced gait.  And, clearly, cutting down running distances whilst the problem is ongoing would help!


2 thoughts on “Shin Splints- enjoy the Bristol 10k without them!

  1. Good stuff Luke. As the 10 Km approaches this will become pretty important. How effective is a post event massage in addressing these problems?

  2. Useful information there thanks Luke, can you recommend a stretch for the tibialis anterior?

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