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Shin Splints :(

Discussion in 'Injuries' started by minimarcy, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. minimarcy

    minimarcy Regular Member

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    Hi all!

    Just thought I'd seek a little practical advice. I'm a badminton player, and also take part in a lot of martial arts. I'm also quite small (about 5ft5"), so my game involves a LOT of jump smashes, and general jumping around - which is no problem, as I have a good jump and am very springy! ha!

    For about a year now though, I've had an ongoing shin splints problem. Real pain along the insides of both my shins after training, which lingers on for the next couple of days. I have read many advice sites, and been to the docs who has recommended ice and rest etc - but the problem still persists.
    I'm not looking for any kind of miracle cure, but can you guys recommend some stretches or activities I could be doing to help minimise the pain - or relieve the injury?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    At the risk of boring you to death -- and incidentally invoking the wrath of the copyright gods -- here are excerpts from a medical text.

    The gist is this: 1) Make sure you have the right diagnosis (eg. not a fracture). 2) If it's the right diagnosis, then enough rest is essential. 3) Finally, correct any improper technique and any fixable abnormalities of the body that could lead to a relapse.
    _________________


    Frontera: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
    2nd ed.Copyright © 2008 Saunders, An Imprint of Elsevier [/h]


    TREATMENT
    As with many overuse syndromes, relative rest—that is, participation only in those activities that can be done without pain—is the key to initial management. If reducing mileage, court, or studio time or just reducing intensity allows the athlete to remain pain free, continuation of the activity may be acceptable. In general, however, even in mild cases, the athlete should avoid repetitive lower extremity stress for at least 1 to 2 weeks. In more serious cases, athletes may need to stop running entirely for a longer time.
    ...
    Stretching and ice or ice massage to the involved areas can be helpful. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce inflammation and help manage pain. Analgesics can be taken for pain as well. Whirlpool, phonophoresis, iontophoresis, and ultrasound are traditionally attempted and may have a role in early symptomatic management.
    ...

    In addressing mal-alignments of the lower extremities, orthoses, such as longitudinal arch supports with or without a medial heel wedge, may be indicated in select patients. Although review of the literature fails to yield any objective evidence for the widespread use of any of these interventions, the most encouraging evidence seems to be the use of shock-absorbing insoles.
    ...
    REHABILITATION
    In individuals who continue to have pain despite initial conservative treatment, physical therapy may be indicated ...
    Once the symptoms have diminished, the rehabilitation program focuses on improving muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance and preventing recurrence of injury. ...
    Anterior compartment stretching exercises, Achilles tendon stretching, and overall lower extremity flexibility exercises are important. Eccentric strengthening of antagonistic muscle groups is also useful. Pain can be a guide in the advancement of the rehabilitation program.
    Athletes should have full range of motion that is symmetric to the uninvolved side and have nearly full strength before returning to their prior activity or to competition.
    Plyometrics should be avoided until a high level of strength, endurance, and flexibility has been attained.
    ...
    Return to previous activity level should be a gradual process, individualized, and based on the athlete's response to increasing intensity of training. Proper footwear for the sport is believed to be essential. ... Orthotic devices are often necessary in those individuals with foot abnormalities, such as pes planus.

    PROCEDURES
    There is no proven benefit noted in the literature to support any injection-based procedure ...
    Great care must be taken in ensuring the correct diagnosis, as potentially disastrous results may occur in dealing with a coexistent compartment syndrome...

    Surgery is rarely indicated ... it frequently leaves the patient with persistent strength deficits, and full return to sports is not always achieved.

    COMPLICATIONS
    If shin splints are not treated and biomechanical malalignments are not addressed, stress fractures and potentially true fractures may occur. This would result in further morbidity and more time lost from the desired physical activity as well as potential function decline.
     
  3. phili

    phili Regular Member

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    The only thing that helped me was resting. Boring but effective :(
     
  4. robbbie

    robbbie Regular Member

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    Get yourself a foam roller and use it after each session on your muscles on both sides of the shin. It will be a painful "massage" but it will relax the muscles and help you recover.
    Of course rest is always a must
     
  5. robbbie

    robbbie Regular Member

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    Also going for few sessions of "Sports massage" with an Osteopath or Physio now that you are in pain is a very good thing to do.
     
  6. minimarcy

    minimarcy Regular Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Obviously, rest has been a massive part of the recovery process - the niggling problem is that even after extensive periods of rest, it never seems to go away fully - it comes back quite quickly.
    I now use orthopedic insoles in all the shoes I wear, which is meant to help my posture and weight balance on my feet - which seems to be helping a lot to be honest, which is great!

    Thanks for the extra tips, much appreciated! :)
     
  7. minimarcy

    minimarcy Regular Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone!

    Of course, rest is a massive part of the recovery process - my niggling problem was that it never seemed to go away fully, even after resting for extensive periods. I now wear special orthopedic insoles with all my shoes, to help with foot positioning and posture, and I have to say it's really helping.

    Thanks for the extra tips all, much appreciated! :)
     
  8. lordrogue

    lordrogue Regular Member

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    I've been struggling with shin splints for years now. Dull aching whenever I ran. However I put myself on a very strict rehabilitation plan this summer. It's about two weeks in and I have this sudden sharp pain occasionally in my right shin. It doesn't seem to be related to pressure or usage, it usually happens during rest. Is it a sign of healing? I'm doing this shockwave/ultrasound therapy and I'm a bit concerned it's what's causing it...

    I have done insoles, resting, softer running places, massage, strength exercises and muscle activation, taping, stretching, replacing running with bicycle... If this strict treatment plan (with zero impact for two months, no running, no jumping, no badminton) doesn't help I'll probably have to end the love of my life :(
     
  9. orberen

    orberen Regular Member

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  10. orberen

    orberen Regular Member

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    Also there is a way to massage your tibialis muscles using a golf ball or using your thumbs as kneading tools to give your shin tibialis muscles a deep tissue massage in order to relax them. (it you currently have shin splints the massage is quite painful. You have to apply deep pressure on the shin muscle and slowly work up or down the leg, stopping at spots that are really painful and really kneading (applying pressure) deep into the muscle tissue. ***Make sure you don't massage/ apply any pressure to the bone itself!!! Otherwise your are increasing the infammation at the shins. If you don't want to do the massage yourself you can get a physio therapist to do it for you. Also google calf massages for shin splints.

    Shin splints are partially caused by tight muscles so massaging can help a lot!
     
  11. lordrogue

    lordrogue Regular Member

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    It's a bit strange, no matter how deep I try to massage, I rarely feel anything at all. The pain under shockwave therapy is unbearable however...
     

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