This pathology is also commonly know as shin splints,. This is when pain occurs in the front of the lower leg which is normally caused by an increase in exercise.
Symptoms: pain soon during/after exercise, pain gradually improves with rest and can occur on both sides. Pain will occur in the bottom 1/3 of the shin and will be painful to touch along this area.
Onset: can be brought on by a sudden change in activity levels, repetitive running on hard or uneven surfaces, being overweight or having flat feet.
Treatment: switching to low impact activities, regular pain relief, ice and rest.
The calf complex is made up of the Gastrocnemius (more superficial) and the Soleus (deeper) which merge to combine and form the Achilles tendon which attaches into the heel bone at the back of the leg (Calcaneous).
At the front of the lower leg there are several smaller muscles which mainly attach to the Fibula or Tibia, these muscles allow us to pull our toes up towards us and rotate our ankle.
Ways in which we can reduce the chance of shin splints:
· Wearing footwear which provides good support and cushioning, it sometimes helps to speak to podiatry or a specialist running shop for advice on the best footwear for you.
· Running on flat, soft surfaces whenever possible.
· When making changes to activity levels do this gradually as advised.
· Trying to mix types of exercise to avoid consistent high impact with strengthening and cardiovascular exercise. E.g. swimming then running
· If necessary having the option to lose weight.
1. Start on the edge of a step or standing on the floor.
2. Gradually raise your heel up off the step/floor to the highest point that feels comfortable.
3. If performing on step you can lower into dorsiflexion to challenge range of movement.