(Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)
Shin splints is a general term used to describe pain in the front of the shin or tibia bone. This pain can be caused by damage (tiny cracks) to the tibia bone itself, tears in the tibialis anterior muscle, or tears along the tibialis anterior tendon where it attaches to the tibia. It is also referred to as Anterior Compartment Syndrome or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, depending on the location of the pain. This condition is often caused by stress to the tibia and surrounding muscles due to an increase in athletic training or demanding training programs (i.e. marathon runners).
Although "shin splints" usually refers to pain that occurs at the outer, front part of the lower leg (anterolateral shin splints), it less commonly refers to pain at the back, inside of the lower leg (called posteromedial shin splints). Both types are painful, with pain occurring anywhere from just below the knee all the way to the ankle, and can take a long time to heal without proper treatment.
The most common cause of shin splints is continued, repeated stress to the tibialis anterior muscle and tendon, the extensor digitorum longus muscle, the extensor hallucis longus, the tibialis posterior muscle and tendon, and the soleus muscle as well as the tissue around the muscles (deep crural fascia) attached to the tibia. Excess wear and stretching of these tendons and muscles can occur with repeated stress or jarring of the tibial bone. In addition, when the muscles swell they put pressure on the fascia which causes more pain. Without an appropriate amount of recovery time or proper conditioning these muscles, the deep crural fascia, and the tibial tendons can become stressed and/or torn to the point of inflammation.
Due to the cause, shin splints are considered a repetitive or cumulative stress injury and are common among runners, gymnasts, dancers and other sports that involve high impact on the foot and lower leg. Approximately 10-15% of all running injuries are attributed to shin splints.
Anterolateral (Anterior) Shin Splints
Anterolateral shin splints affect the tibialis anterior muscle in the outer, front portion of the lower leg. This condition can be the result of a natural imbalance in the size of opposing muscles. Shin muscles pull the foot up, whereas the large and powerful gastrocnemius muscles in the calf pull the foot down when the heel strikes the ground. An imbalance can cause the heel to hit the ground improperly causing excess jarring of the tibia and surrounding muscles.
Anterolateral shin splints will cause pain in the front and outside of the shin which can result from damage to the tibialis anterior muscle itself or the deep crural fascia. Initial pain is felt when the heel strikes the ground though eventually the pain just remains.
To allow this type of shin splint to heal, you should avoid activities that cause stress to the tibia and tibialis anterior muscles and do other kinds of exercise recommended by your doctor or physical therapist. Such exercises usually involve stretching the calf muscle, as tight calf muscles put a lot of pressure on the shin muscle and the anterior tibial tendon.
Posteromedial (Posterior) Shin Splints
Posteromedial shin splints affect the soleus muscle and the tibialis posterior muscles and pain appears in the interior (or medial bone) in the lower leg). These muscle groups are responsible for lifting the heel to support a runner's weight on the ball portion of the foot when running.
Posteromedial shin splints (also called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome or MTSS) are often caused by running on a sloped track or other non-level running surface or wearing improper shoes that do not protect the foot from rolling (pronation).
Pain begins on the inside, back of the lower leg (usually within 7 inches above the ankles), but will worsen and continue to rise up the leg. Initially, only tendons will become inflamed, but if running continues, the muscles themselves could become affected. In the most severe cases, the tibialis posterior tendon could become detached from the bone - a painful occurrence that causes bleeding and excessive inflammation.
To allow a posteromedial shin splint to heal, the running must temporarily stop and other therapeutic exercises recommended by your doctor or physical therapist can be done. Special shoes may be prescribed during the healing phase, and it may be advisable to look into potential problems with over-pronation of the feet (flat feet). This can often be solved by wearing shoes that prevent pronation and/or avoid running on side slopes.
Lower Leg Stress Fractures
Stress fractures (or bone trauma) in the tibia and fibula are sometimes related to anterolateral shin splints. Due to excess jarring of the bone, microscopic cracks may form in one or both of the lower leg bones. Avoiding the activity or sport that caused the cracks is advised to allow the bones to rest and repair. Without allowing enough time to recover, these cracks can become a fracture which is very painful.
Shin Splint Causes
Shin splints may be caused by:
- Over training or new runners doing too much too soon.
- Running on side slopes (ie. banked tracks).
- Tight gastrocnemius muscles, exerting extra force on shin muscles.
- A sudden change from soft to hard running surfaces.
- Poor or worn out footwear that doesn't reduce the impact or support your arch when running.
- Excessive uphill running.
- Other conditions in the tibial area such as tendinitis, periostitis, stress fractures and compartment syndrome can all lead to shin splints.
- Not warming up or stretching properly.
- Poor running mechanics which could include; heavy forward lean, excessive weight on the ball of the foot, running with toes pointed outward, landing too far back on the heels causing the foot to flop down, and over-pronation. Pronation (flat feet or pes planus) is the most likely to be the cause.
Shin Splint Symptoms
- Most often, shin spints cause pain in the front of the outer leg below the knee.
- Swelling and redness around the tibia may occur.
- Pain or discomfort in the beginning of the workout that lessens and then reappears towards the end of the training session.
- Increased pain when running (especially on hard surfaces), jumping, running downhill, or climbing uphill.
- The pain is usually at it worst the morning after exercising and when the foot is in plantar flexion (toes are bent downward).
- Tight and inflexible calf muscles due to scar tissue build up and lack of proper stretching.
Conservative Treatment Options for Shin Splints
Stage 1: If the injury is very recent - use a good quality cold pack and Arnica Pain Relief Cream. If the injury has been going on for awhile, then skip to Stage 2 below.
An injured muscle, ligament or tendon will receive very little blood flow; this occurs for a couple of reasons: (1) swelling and inflammatory symptoms restrict blood flow, and (2) lack of movement (its painful!) reduces blood flow in the area. Add the two up and you can start to see why this can be a major problem over time. In cases where there is little to no inflammation (tendonosis, chronic tendonitis, muscle pulls) - the use of cold therapy is relatively ineffective as there is little or no swelling to be dealt with.
If you are experiencing pain and swelling in the very early stages of the injury (first 48 to 72 hours), the first step in a conservative treatment protocol would be to focus on reducing the discomfort by applying a Cold Compress or Ice Pack to the soft tisse injury and incorporate the use of a high quality pain relief cream such as our Arnica Infusion Cream.
If you are experiencing pain and swelling, not only will you use cold therapy for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury, but you should also use it during other stages of the healing process. Some examples include...
- after any activity that stresses the muscle or tendon in a moderate way. It is wise to quickly apply cold therapy to not only reduce the pain, but to also minimize tissue damage that may have occurred during the prior event.
- If you have a job that requires you to place some demands on your injury. If that is the case, use cold therapy immediately following work and if the opportunity allows - use it for 15 to 20 minutes during lunch or another break time.
- If you are in a post-operative situation where cold compression therapy would be utilized heavily for at least the first few weeks following the procedure. Similarly, if you are scheduled for upcoming surgery, then you will find a Cold Compress or Ice Pack helpful as well.
Having a Cold Compress or Ice Pack available at home to use if and when the need arises is helpful. Many of you already do so.
Often, however, too many people over-focus on cold therapy while ignoring the most critical aspect to healing - nourishing the injured tissues with a healthy supply of blood flow needed to repair and rebuild injured soft tissue.
This leads to the most important recommendation - Stage 2.
Stage 2: Focus on Increasing Blood Flow To The Injured Tissue - As This is The ONLY Way Soft Tissue Heals For the Long-Term
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to injured tissues can be difficult. When the injury is in an area with low blood circulation (or you have a condition that affects your blood circulation), the challenges are even greater. Traditional methods require your muscles and tendons to move to promote blood flow (exercise), but that same motion that promotes blood flow can at times lead to making your pain and condition worse.
- Have you reinjured yourself by getting back on your feet too quickly?
- How many times in the past have you aggravated your old injury just trying to perform basic tasks around the home?
- Is your debilitation preventing you from work or activities you love to do?
Most people we deal with tell us these scenarios have happened to them many times in the past. Perhaps it has already happened to you.
Promoting blood flow within a muscle, bursa or other soft tissue injury to help the body heal itself is a concept that has been utilized for centuries. This is where the focus has to be if you are seeking long-term improvement.
Oxygen and nutrients, carried within the blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, recovering from an injury or condition will be delayed...sometimes for a very long period of time.
The real challenge is how do you promote blood flow to an injury site without causing further injury (moving)? This goal is further complicated by the fact that muscles and tendons in the lower body are involved in pretty much every physical movement we perform each day.
When people think blood flow beyond exercise, they instantly think "heating pad". Unfortunately, many individuals make the mistake in believing that a simple heating pad or microwavable gel packs will provide the blood flow needed to heal injured tissues. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To begin with, heating pads and warmed gel packs work on conduction. The heat they generate has to be forced through multiple layers of skin and fatty tissues. With each layer of skin the heat passes through, there is a corresponding energy loss because that heat is absorbing into each layer it passes through- the skin is an excellent insulator! Your body responds to this heat by increasing the blood flow near your skins surface (not in your injured tissue) to dissipate the heat and it does so quite effectively.
By the time what little heat reaches below the skin, sub-dermal layer and fat layer into the targeted area (the dense, injured tissues), very little energy remains and this does not effectively enhance blood flow. With little blood flow reaching these injured tissues - healing just doesn't happen.
The heating pad may feel comforting when on the body, but that is because the warmth is absorbing into the skin. Moist heat has been believed to be more effective at warming internal tissues versus dry heat, because it is believed that water transfers heat more quickly than through air. Clinical studies do not support that popular belief.
When you are using a heating pad, all that you are really accomplishing is warming of the skin. The unintended consequence is that you draw blood flow AWAY from the targeted tissues (the injured ones deeper in the body) and direct the blood flow to the surface of the body.
Warming the skin will not significantly contribute to healing of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, or any other tissues.
So If A Heating Pad Is Not The Answer, What Is?
In order to effectively stimulate blood flow to the dense tissue deep within the body, an energy based on an electromagnetic principle (diathermy) is needed. In essence, this is a conversion energy vs a conductive heat (like the heating pad example above - that is conductive heat).
Electromagnetic energy waves are not conductive heat waves - they are a much longer wavelength and hence, penetrate deep into the body. They are very safe and very effective as research over decades has shown. The F.D.A recognizes this as fact.
When these energy waves are emitted,they penetrate right through your skin and fat layers until they are absorbed by tissue high in protein. This means ligaments, muscles, cartilage, tendons and bone. Once they reach the targeted areas, they are absorbed and quickly converted into thermal energy... right at the location of the injury.
This results in relaxation of the vessel walls. The vessels then gently expand, allowing for more nutrient rich blood flow along with extra oxygen and antibodies to reach the damaged tissues. Plus, the enhanced blood flow helps in flushing cell waste and fluid build-up from the injury site - further enhancing the ability of the body to heal.
As mentioned above, standard heating pads and heated gel packs accomplish the exact opposite of your goals. They direct blood flow to the skin, not to the injured muscles and soft tissues you are trying to heal.
Electromagnetic energy is a form of energy will easily penetrate through clothing, skin, and fatty tissues... directly into your injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursa and other soft tissue. After the energy absorbs into the injured tissue, the metabolic response then kick starts the repair and rebuilding process.
More blood now begins to flow effectively to the injured tissues deep within the body. The injured tissue needs the extra blood flow to heal as it is through the blood the body carries the oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies needed for proper and long-term healing.
While the concept of electromagnetic energy is slowly catching on in North America, the truth is, it is a technology that has been utilized in other societies for decades. Over the past 30 years, researchers in Japan and China have completed extensive studies on the use of the modality and their findings have been impressive. In addition, success has been reported in studies from countries such as Sweden and Germany.
Research is continuing and soon, much of North America will know what the Far East and Europe has known for a long time; electromagnetic energy provides a wide range of health benefits for those suffering from soft tissue injuries that include muscles, tendons, bursae, ligaments, joint capsules, and even some meniscus injuries as well.
Now, on to recommendation number two in the journey to heal your soft tissue injury...
The T•Shellz Wrap® - Heal Your Soft Tissue Injury For The Long Term
The best option we came across in our research to accomplish true healing of soft tissue injuries is the T•Shellz Wrap®. Use of this device results in a dramatic increase in blood flow to the injured tissues located deeper within the body - all in a non-invasive manner.
Have you seen what happens when you add water to a flower wilted from drought? In essence, your injured muscle/tendon/ligament is much like a "wilted" flower; your body wants to heal its injury, but needs lots of nutrients to do it. Blood brings new life to your cells by delivering healing nutrients and oxygen that are vital to your tissue. In addition, the blood carries away toxins and cellular waste cleaning the area and healing it faster. Without a good supply of blood, your soft tissue injury simply won't heal quickly, and as such increase your risk of reinjury and/or a chronic injury.
Using a T•Shellz Wrap® will not expose you to the risk of causing further harm to soft tissue like you can when using rigorous exercise. The T•Shellz Wrap® accomplishes the goal of enhanced blood flow without the need for intensive exercise and as such reduces your risk of re-injury.
T•Shellz Wrap® = Accelerated Healing Power for Your Injury
The T•Shellz Wrap® is based on the scientifically validated principle of Electromagnetic energy as we discussed previously. This form of treatment is safe and effective as shown in numerous studies which can be referenced through the National Library of Medicine. Professional athletes and those in the medical field have been users of the technology for decades - it really hasn't been until recently that companies like ours introduced these devices to the home user.
Electromagnetic energy from the T•Shellz Wrap® does not absorb into the skin - it absorbs directly into the damaged muscle and soft tissue (as a result, you will not feel the same level of heat on the skin versus a heating pad). The longer wavelength provides the electromagnetic energy wrap with the capability of penetrating deep into the body (well over two and a half inches).
EM energy emitted from the T•Shellz Wrap® is absorbed by high protein tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage) and is converted into Kinetic energy - much of this energy being released as heat. Overall, EM energy will warm soft tissues, improve blood circulation, and boost metabolism and enzyme activity. In stimulating localized blood flow to damaged soft tissue, you provide needed oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies to regenerate new, healthy collagen. In addition, you will experience a clearing of toxins and excess fluid build up from the injury site. Over the intermediate term, this helps to reduce incidents of swelling as trapped fluids will be whisked away - reducing pressure on blood vessels.
Using the T•Shellz Wrap® is truly a unique experience. Within moments of applying a treatment to your injury, you can feel the sensation due to the increase in blood flow deep within the area. During a treatment, and for quite some time after you finish, the treated area will feel relaxed and warm. It's a very soothing sensation and extremely effective. This is especially important because when it comes to tendons, ligaments and bursae - they receive very little blood flow to begin with.
Who Should Use the T•Shellz Wrap®
We recommend the use of a T•Shellz Wrap®:
- If you have encountered a strain, tear or pull in your muscles, ligaments or tendons, then you would find the T•Shellz Wrap® to be a great home treatment tool to use AFTER initial inflammation and swelling have been reduced.
- If you are dealing with conditions affecting your range of motion such as impingement or even arthritis.
- If you have a chronic tendonitis condition that has lasted for years- this device will help start the rebuilding process and help strengthen the surrounding and supporting tissues. Many of our past clients had suffered for years, then were completely amazed at the results only after a few months of treatments.
- If you are still working with a soft tissue injury, the T•Shellz Wrap® will help relax injured soft tissue prior to work and after a day at the job.
- If you are still trying to enjoy your favorite activities such as gardening, tennis, golf, etc - use the T•Shellz Wrap® prior to activity to help reduce chances of re-injuring or re-aggravating those targeted tissues.
- If you are suffering from bursitis and want to treat the major source of it (secondary damage to the muscle and tendon surrounding the bursa sac). Through overuse or degenerative changes in hip, knee and heel, muscle and tendons surrounding the bursa sacs will tighten and constrict. When they do, they place pressure on bursae (bursae=plural form of bursa), causing it to become irritated. Applying a soothing and deep penetrating energy to affected area helps relaxes muscles, tendons and ligaments - taking pressure off the bursa and boosting blood circulation in the area which enhances your body's natural healing process.
- If you are experiencing atrophy in your joint and want to reduce the chance of a strain or re-injury - this is a perfect treatment to use on a regular basis.
- If you have had stem cell, PRP or prolotherapy treatments and your physician told you to get a radiant energy wrap, then this is exactly what you need.
- If you need surgery for a soft tissue injury, then this is exactly what you need after your surgery to help the surgically repaired tissues rebuild for long-term health. (once the surgery wound has healed)
Increased Blood Circulation = Increased Healing Rate
T•Shellz Wraps contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe electromagnetic energy over its entire surface. This energy travels deep inside to the soft tissue lying deep withing your limbs, temporarily increasing blood flow (during treatment and for a couple hours after) your own body needs to heal your injury. It is the electromagnetic energy that is crucial to the healing process.
What Else Makes the T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?
We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective treatments to increase localized blood flow to dense, injured tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other similar tissues.
We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do...quickly relieve pain and aid in the recovery from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries.
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.
The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.
Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.
A Recap of the Benefits of the T•Shellz Wrap®..
- Targeted treatment of Muscle Strain, Tendonitis, tendonosis, Bursitis, Impingement, Arthritis, etc
- It can be used before exercise to warm up your muscles, tendons and ligaments to reduce the risk of injury (warm up = increased length & elasticity)
- FDA Registered medical device for use in the home - very high quality
- Greatly enhances healing of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Increases flexibility of tissues (reducing the re-injury factor)
- Carbon fiber Energy Pad is strong, lightweight, and flexible - contours very easily
- It provides an accelerated healing rate that will save time and money when associated with missed work or extended therapist visits
- it is an outstanding tool for post-surgery rehabilitation, getting you back to work faster
When Should I Use My TShellz Wrap During the Day?
The most common question we receive from individuals prior to purchasing is - how many times a day should I be using my T•Shellz Wraps and when should I be using them? While treatment plans will differ for each individual and their specific injury, there are general guidelines that should be adhered to.
- Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack when you are experiencing inflammation (usually after exertion or movement of the injury area).
The T•Shellz Wrap® would then be used:
- Right after rising from bed in the morning (as this is when it is most stiff)
- Prior to going to bed at night (to relax the area, allowing for better sleep)
- Before you know you will be using your injured joint (going to work, driving, running, walking, etc).
Stage 3 - In Between Treatments With T•Shellz Wrap®, Apply Our New Fast Acting Pain Relief Cream Called ARNICA INFUSION
Dealing with aches and pains affecting the foot, ankle, leg, knee, hamstring, hip, back, arm, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand? If so, then applying the Arnica Infusion to any of these targeted areas will bring about fast relief from the pain and sore tissues. Simply apply a small amount of cream to the body and moments later, you will experience a soothing and comforting sensation over the area.
Arnica Infusion is specially designed to relieve pain due to sore muscles and joints associated with arthritis, backaches, sprains, strains, and bruises. No matter if you are dealing with an acute injury, chronic pain, or a general "flare-up" - you will experience fast relief from pain and inflammation.
This is a product that many of our current MendMeShop customers asked us to develop. So we focused our time and resources over the past few years and came up, with we believe, will be one of more effective, fast acting, topical pain relief creams on the market.
You are likely familiar with some of the standard topical agents on the market as most of our customers use them. The are mass marketed and even found in most department stores now.
Well, we are here to say that Arnica Infusion goes many steps beyond what they offer.
Made in the USA at an FDA registered manufacturing facility, you can be assured that Arnica Infusion is both safe and effective. We only source top grade ingredients while implementing strict quality control checks during every step of the production process. Expect the same high quality that MendMeShop customers have been accustomed to since we started the company in 2005.
The "Cool Blue" formula is the perfect balance between the smooth application of a cream and the effective absorbing factor of a gel. It is not too thick and not too thin - just the right texture. Best of all, it feels very nice on the skin!
Each application of Arnica Infusion feels so comforting and soothing, we are certain it will become an item you will not want to live without.
Arnica Infusion Ingredients
The Arnica Infusion formula is based on a combination of scientific research and the use of high quality ingredients. The properties within the formula were chosen for their pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and soothing qualities.
The acting ingredients within the formula include ones many of us are familiar with; along with ones that have not received a lot of publicity (only in research circles). Extensive testing resulted in a blending of ingredients that provides the most synergistic of benefits.
The notable ingredients in the Arnica Infusion formula include:
- Arnica - powerful anti-inflammatory, speeds recovery, enhances circulation
- Menthol - provides deep penetrating pain relief with a nice cooling sensation
- Vitamin B6 - promotes normal nerve function
- MSM - supports healthy connective tissues, anti-inflammatory
- Ilex Leaf Extract - increases circulation, skin conditioner
- Vitamin E - anti-inflammatory, enhances circulation, hydrates the skin
- Aloe - anti-inflammatory properties, soothes the skin
- Tea Tree - enhances penetration of ingredients
Extensive quality control procedures during the manufacturing process ensure the ingredients and final product are both safe and effective. We would not stake our reputation on anything but the best.
When Do I Apply the Arnica Infusion?
While At Work
Apply Arnica Infusion at work to help reduce acute discomfort associated with overuse of muscles and joints. No matter if you are in a physical demanding job or work within an office environment, you will be placing stress on different parts of the body and aches and pains will result.
Before Or After Work, Sports, & Activity
If you suffer from a sprained ligament, pulled muscle, strained tendon, or even bruising - apply Arnica Infusion for quick relief of the pain.
Chronic Pain Suffering
Application of Arnica Infusion can be done up to a maximum of 4 times per day on a consistent basis to help bring about relief from various pains and aches.
In-between Treatments With the T•Shellz Wraps
Follow up your T•Shellz and Cold treatments with an application of Arnica Infusion. Combine the pain relieving benefits of Arnica Infusion along with the healing benefits of the wraps to make your recovery go much more smoothly.
Do not apply Arnica Infusion within a 2 hour timespan before a T•Shellz Wrap® treatment.
Whether you decide to use the Arnica Infusion in conjunction with the T•Shellz Wrap® and other treatments - or if you decide to use the cream as a stand-alone product - you will not be disappointed with the results. We guarantee it.
Sign Up To Our Newsletter:
There is a lot of information online
- but not all of it is factual. We spend hours per week doing the research... separating fact from fiction. We then present this information in an easy-to-read newsletter, generally sent once per month.