Therapeutic Ultrasound for Shin Splints
Shin splints (also known as medial tibial stress syndrome) refers to pain in the front of the legs. It is an inflammatory condition of the anterior compartment of the shin bone commonly seen in runners and athletes. Shin splints have two main causes: (1) Too much force being placed on the lower leg and (2) repetitive impact on the muscles of the anterior lower leg.
This leads to muscle tightness, connective tissue tension, and inflammation. Muscle tightness causes a decrease of circulation to the area and this can lead to connective tissue tension (connective tissue is what wraps around the muscles), which then leads to inflammation and an increased sensitivity to pain. People suffering from shin splints will feel a dull and achy pain in the front part of the lower leg. The pain can be felt in the shin bone and/or the muscle itself. It can be tender to the touch and also painful when lifting the foot upwards.
Since shin splints are an overuse injury, rest is highly suggested in order to recover and get back to activities as soon as possible. While rest is very helpful, it is recommended that you actively seek the use of passive therapeutic modalities to speed up the healing process. Therapeutic ultrasound is an excellent option for the treatment of shin splints because it will help to bring down the inflammation very fast. Through the use of sound waves, an ultrasound machine increases circulation to the affected muscle helping it to flush out accumulated toxins and reducing its tightness. Once the inflammation has gone down and range of motion of the ankle does not cause pain in the shins, the injured person may begin walking and steadily increase the intensity of their activities.