What are Shin Splints?

 

What are Shin Splints? Shin Splints is a common term used among people to describe a pain in the leg in and around the area of their shin bone. A more specific diagnosis must be made however to successfully treat the symptoms. The traditional clinical use of the term shin splints is to describe medial tibial stress syndrome, pain on the lower inside of the leg. Often people use it as a term to describe pain and swelling of the muscles to the outside of the shin (anterior compartment syndrome) as well.

 

Chronic symptoms of shin splints may lead to stress fractures so symptoms must not be ignored if they continue to persist. Abnormal biomechanics may lead to a greater risk of pain around the shin bone. A high rigid arch effects shock absorption increasing the forces on the bone. In individuals whose arches fall from normal into a flattened position (excessive pronation) overuse, fatigue and excessive pull of the muscles that support the arch can lead to medial tibial stress syndrome, otherwise known as ‘shin splints.’

 

Weakness of the tendons or ankle instability from previous sprains may also contribute to overuse of muscular and tendinous structures leading to shin splints. Tight calf muscles can also lead to shin pain, excessive tightness can prevent normal ankle movement increasing the load on muscles surrounding the shin.

 

A full history and physical examination including biomechanical assessment with reproduction of symptoms is needed to find the true cause of the symptoms, so a progressive rehabilitation programme can be implemented.

 

Treatment may consist of reducing the repetitive training load, stretching and loosening out tight muscles such as the calves and improving strength. If it is a chronic issue, training to improve shock absorption will be required through altering running mechanics. Assessing and treating the origin of the problem is the key to full recovery.

 

Catherine Simpson

MISCP, MSc. Sports Medicine

www.sportsphysioireland.com

Check out our social media

https://www.facebook.com/sportsphysioireland

https://twitter.com/sportsphyirl


Iliotibial Band Syndrome-Lateral Knee Pain

Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome, or Lateral Knee Pain is an overuse injury caused by friction and compression of the structures between the IT band and the outside of the knee. Training errors and biomechanical abnormalities are some of the factors that predispose to IT band syndrome.

It is commonly an issue seen in cyclists, runners, army recruits and endurance athletes. IT band syndrome accounts for 15- 24% of overuse injuries in cyclists and 1.6 – 12% in runners. Pain generally worsens the longer the person persists with the sporting activity and may be associated with local swelling and inflammation of structures between the band and the inside of the knee.

A full assessment should be carried out to rule out other causes of lateral knee pain such as lateral hamstring tendinopathy, degeneration of the lateral meniscus of the knee, osteoarthritis of the lateral compartment of the knee or referred pain from the low back.

A general misconception is that the IT band can be stretched; when in fact it is just a thickening of the fibrous tissue that surrounds the thigh like a stocking and is restricted by strong attachments to the lateral side of the knee. The TFL (tensor Fascia lata) and ¾ of the gluteus maximus muscles insert into the IT band and it is these muscle that should be targeted to reduce the tension in the IT band and therefore leads to compression of the inside of the knee.

Manual soft tissue therapy through foam rolling, stretching and trigger point release of the hip musculature are useful techniques to reduce the tension through the IT band and relieve the irritation of IT band syndrome.

Catherine Simpson

MISCP MSc. Sports Medicine

 


Five Tips So You Can Avoid Injury

Sports Physio Ireland’s physiotherapist Riain Casey talks us through five tips so you can avoid injury.

Many injuries can be easily prevented. Some times small adjustments to our everyday lifestyle can have a big impact in injury prevention.

Simple things like correctly fuelling the body and a good healthy sleeping pattern are key to aiding the body recover from on-field activity. Coupled with a specific warm up to prep the body for the demands on field, good proper movement based training and maintaining fitness levels to meet the demands of the activity can greatly help reduce the risk of injury or re-injury.

Try out the tips and let us know how you get on.

https://www.instagram.com/sportsphysioireland/


How To Fix Your Push Up

The push up is one of the most basic exercises that you can do, but time and time again it is technically performed poorly.

We see issues from poor technique contribute to low back pain, knee issues, along with a number of other issues. So technique is vital to keep the body healthy.

So how do I, and the rest of the team in Sports Physio Ireland, see a push up? Simple really, think about a dynamic plank.

Quiet simply, the core should be engaged throughout the total body movement, and 9/10 in most injured or poorly trained clients this is the last thing that is thought about!

So How To Do The Perfect Push Up

• Hands directly under the shoulder, screw them into the ground.
• Squeeze the ass, tuck the tail bone under until you feel the lengthening of the abdominals
• Drive the heels to the back wall
• Slowly and controlled bring the chest to the ground, keeping the elbows close to the rib cage and drive up through the heels of the hand.

Harder than you think, but more bang for your buck!


Major Injuries in Female Athletes Part 1 – The ACL

The most common cause of prolonged absence from sport is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Although ACL injuries occur in males and female, the incidence within female athletes is much higher.

The ACL is an important ligament within the knee and controls rotational movement. Most ACL tears occur when a person is landing from a jump, pivoting or decelerating suddenly. These non-contact ACL injuries generally occur because of insufficient control around the hip, knee and ankle. ACL tears rarely occur in isolation and there is often associated injury to other structures in the knee.

Lower limb injuries are the most common type of injury in running sports. In these sporting populations muscular injuries are more likely in male athletes, whereas female athletes have a higher incidence of ligament injuries. Possible reasons for higher levels of ACL injuries in females are that:

  1. Females have a wider pelvis creating greater angles of stress between the knee and the hip.
  2. Females tend to have a higher level of flexibility and ligament laxity then male (this is especially true at certain times of the month due to hormone changes).

This results in the joints having the ability to move through a greater range of motion, placing the ligaments under more stress. The muscles around these joints need to be strong enough to control this range of motion during rapid activities and changes in direction.

Looking at this hypothesis, do females need to have more muscular control then males to prevent serious ligament injuries; the answer is most likely yes!

We are now living in an era of injury prevention not just injury management. Basic conditioning programmes such as the FIFA 11+ has been implemented into warmup routines in many different sports. Research is showing that training and improvement of muscle control and joint proprioception is reducing the incidence of ligament injuries most notable ACL injuries in female athletes.

Catherine Simpson MISCP MSc. Sports Medicine


Phase One Meniscal Tear Rehabilitation

 

When the knee suffers a meniscal and osteochondral fracture injury, it’s ability to absorb forces produced from stepping, running and cutting is diminshed. It’s essential to slowly and progressively load bear the joint in movements that simulate and compliment the movement patterns of the sport.

See the video of Sports Physio Ireland client, Ciaran, week one with Thomas, one of our Physiotherapists and Strength and Conditioning Specialists going through his initial rehabilitation.

 

 

 

 


Calf Strain fixing

Calf strains are one of the most common and preventable injuries in GAA athletes. A calf strain involves a pull or tear to one or more of the muscles at the back of the lower leg. These muscles are responsible the movement at the ankle which involves pointing your toes away from the body and play an important role in your walking and running patterns. A calf strain will therefore make it difficult to walk or play pain free when injured.

The Rehab of a calf strain will depend on the severity of the injury. The severity of the strain can be divided into grade one, two or three.  A grade 3 strain is the most severe and can take up to 12 weeks to recover from.

Initial treatment consists of ice and rest for the first day or two but the player should be up jogging and doing bike sessions within the first 3-5 days. Strengthening will be key before returning to the biggest challenge… Sprinting

Here is a sample a few of the Mobility/Strengthening Exercises incorporated into rehab sessions.

Let us know how you get on.

Joey Boland


Paralympic Football World Cup 2015

Back in June, SPI Physiotherapist Thomas Divilly travelled to England for two weeks to assist the Irish Paralympic Football Team at the Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup

Here’s a short piece on his experience during the tournament with the team.

‘I had the privilege of working as the Physiotherapist to the Irish Paralympic Football Team as they competed in the Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup in St. George’s Park, home of the England FA. There was a huge prize on offer for the guys. Qualification for the Paralympic Game in Rio 2016. And boy did they deliver!

The George's Park Dressing Room
The St. George’s Park Dressing Room

It was a hugely successful campaign as the team finished 6th overall.  Defeating Portugal, Australia and Argentina en route to a qualification spot. I was personally able to help keeping the guys fit and healthy throughout the tournament. We  finished the competition with a strong and healthy squad, just as we had started.

The George's Park Gym Facility.
The George’s Park Gym Facility.

Key components to achieving a fit and healthy squad throughout the two weeks of intense competition was implementing a good recovery system. This was achieved through proper nutrition & hydration, mobility work and pool sessions to keep the players in top condition.

I’m already looking forward to seeing the guys learn from this invaluable experience and push on to bigger and better things!’

Thomas


Hamstring Rehab

The most commonly injured area that occurs in field based sports is the Hamstring. But why the hamstring? It’s an interesting question, with many different potential reasons.

Is it strong enough for the sport? Does it fatigue easy? Is it working too hard, making up for lack of support? Have you done enough sprinting in your training program?

Here is a few exercises that we have in our bag, that can help recruit better hip and hamstring strength and control.

We aim to get you strong to help prevent the possibility of injuring you Hamstring again.

Thomas Divilly

 


Call Now