Monthly News September 2015
Our Podiatrist Kent was recently invited to travel to Perth to present on ankle foot orthoses and adult acquired flatfoot.
He presented at the University of Western Australian Podiatric Medicine Alumni conference to over 100 podiatrists. He also gave a lecture to the final year podiatry students at UWA.
This month feature is on "shin splints" or Medial Tibial Traction Periostitis
MEDIAL TIBIAL TRACTION PERIOSTITIS
What is it?
Commonly referred to as ‘shin splints’, medial tibial traction periostitis (or medial tibial stress syndrome) refers to inflammation occurring where a tendon or muscle attaches to a bone.
How does it happen?
Medial tibial traction periostitis results from overuse. Tendons and muscles attach to bone via a layer of connecting tissue overlying the bone. This tissue is called the periosteum. When muscles contract, they pull on their tendons which, in turn, pull on the periosteum overlying the bone. With overuse, poor biomechanics or excessive muscle tightness, this pulling can damage the periosteum. This results in an inflammatory response as the body attempts to repair the damage. Consequently, medial tibial traction periostitis is inflammation (-itis) where a tendon attaches to the periosteum (periost-) along the inside (medial) part of the tibia as a result of traction.
How does it feel?
Medial tibial traction periostitis is typically felt as pain along the inside border of the shin bone (tibia). It is usually painful as you begin exercising; however, as the area begins to warm up the pain may subside. Following exercise, your pain may gradually return as inflammation takes place. The area of tenderness may be painful to touch and you may feel thickened areas or bands of tissue adjacent to the tibia.
What should you do?
Medial tibial traction periostitis generally does not settle on its own if the cause is not addressed and you continue to exercise. If you have or suspect you have medial tibial traction periostitis, you should consult your nearest sports medicine professional.
What shouldn’t you do?
If you have shin soreness, you shouldn’t ignore the problem. Your pain may get better as you exercise; however, the exercise you are doing may be causing further damage. This can lead to your injury getting worse such that your pain does not ‘warm up’ and you feel it throughout an entire exercise session.
Could there be any long-term effects?
Medial tibial traction periostitis does not produce any long-term effects, as long as it is properly diagnosed and appropriately treated. However, the condition can recur unless causative factors are not addressed. Possibly it may lead to a stress fracture.
The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of medial tibial traction periostitis. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and establishing its severity. From this, an appropriate treatment plan will be developed.
This may involve:
- initial activity modification
The sports medicine professional will also be able to assess and determine why you developed medial tibial traction periostitis and address this during your recovery to prevent a re-occurrence when you return to full participation.
- soft tissue treatment such as massage, stretching, dry needling
- correction of biomechanical abnormalities using orthoses.
If you think you are getting shin splints - book in with one of our practitioners today for a consultation.