acupuncture for shin splints - symptoms & causes
Shin Splints are a common clinical pain syndrome of the lower leg. It can occur on the inside or outside of the shin and is characterised by pain, tenderness on palpation and a feeling of tightness that is aggravated by sustained activity and improved by rest. At its worst it may involve some minor swelling and will hurt during physical activity and for hours/ days afterward. It is commonly related to physical fatigue and overuse, occurring routinely in athletes and soldiers but can occur in anyone, even those who enjoy walking and hiking.
The pathology of shin splints involves cumulative trauma and tissue damage to the muscles and tendinous attachments on either side of the tibia. On occasion that damage and irritation can extend to the outside layer of the bone, called periostitis. In Traditional East Asian Medicine, pain associated with physical fatigue is initiated from a lack of nourishment and lubrication of the tissues by blood and fluids. Poor nourishment allows tissue damage to occur, which leads to inflammation and in some instances, defective healing. If this occurs the resulting persistent pain and tissue abnormalities are described as a blood stagnation pathology in the traditional vernacular.
acupuncture treatment strategy
The Priority of treatment is to relieve pain through promoting effective tissue healing. We do this by controlling inflammation, encouraging movement, eliminating tissue abnormalities and restoring strength and confidence (for detailed information refer to our article on Sports Injuries). At our Gold Coast acupuncture clinic we’ve had consistently good results over many years with this condition. Treatment usually involves the use of acupuncture, needle head moxibustion and massage. As the condition is related to physical fatigue we often advise patients to modify their exercise habits in the short term. In most cases, you should expect treatment to be required for 1-2 months.
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