I received a really nice message from a patient yesterday which touched me and made me want to write this blog.
The message read,
‘Hope you are well Gillian. Not sure if you remember treating me for Shin Splints. I wanted to thank you for all your efforts, as I have you to thank in a major way for enabling me to run the London Marathon yesterday. A few years ago with the pain I was in with my shins I never thought it would be possible. It was an incredible day and one I will always remember’.
I always find the London marathon quite emotional watching the sacrifice, dedication and effort required to train and get round and then with all the heart warming stories we hear about people raising money for lost ones. So when I got this message it touched me on a number of levels to help a patient achieve his dreams is really rewarding for me as a practitioner.
I wanted to write about how I helped this patient recover from ‘shin splints’ to help any budding runners or athletes out there enjoy their sport or even achieve their sporting goals.
I diagnosed Kevin with medial tibial stress syndrome which is commonly called ‘shin splints’ as he was getting a tender sharp, stabbing pain on his lower third of his inside shin bone. He had the pain for four years now so it really was a chronic case. He was initially getting pain after running but it had worsened to cause pain even with walking. He talked then about wanting to run a marathon.
When I examined Kevin, it was very clear that he had ‘flat feet.’ He really had no visible arch in his feet. Flat feet or pronated feet, is a major predisposing factor for shin splints. With this foot type the foot rolls in and causes musculature in the lower leg work excessively and in an incorrect way. This eventually leads to tissue damage, inflammation and pain.
I carried out a physical examination and Gait analysis of Kevin’s walking pattern using TOG (the orthotics group)Gaitscan technology, which uses a pressure pad containing over 4000 sensors to pick up pressures in his feet. From this detailed information I prescribed custom-made orthotics.
Kevin was then sent on his way with prescriptive exercises to improve his flexibility in his lower limb and custom-made orthotics to help him walk/run efficiently.
Then as they say, the rest is history. Kevin was able to complete his first marathon.
Orthotics therapy can help with many lower limb, foot, knee, hip and back injuries. It’s all about correcting the biomechanical issues of the foot arches and allowing the body to function in an efficient way.