At Heal Focus Podiatry we treat a lot of netball players and a common problem many players experience in their career is shin soreness, and it doesn’t matter if they’re a seasoned professional or a weekend warrior.
If you can relate to this problem, you need to take it seriously, because if you do nothing and hope your shin soreness will go away, you may be in for a long wait.
Bone or Muscular
Not every shin splint is the same; there are varying degrees of severity. With netball, in particular, there is a lot of force placed on the lower legs, because of all the jumping, angle changing and sudden stopping, and if too much force is placed on the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the shinbone, small micro tears can occur.
This is your typical shin splint problem that most players complain of.
In more severe cases you can develop a stress fracture in the shinbone itself. A stress fracture in the shinbone is a true shin splint. When this occurs, the pain can be quite intense and often the athlete finds it very difficult to run because of the pain.
Shin Splints often occur if:
- You’ve increased the intensity of your training
- You’ve come back too hard after a long lay off
- You’re wearing netball shoes that are too old and worn out
- You’re going too hard too early
- You have a foot problem: Over Pronation (foot rolls inwards) or Over Supinated (foot rolls outwards)
Sometimes it there can be a combination of causes.
How to Treat Shin Splints?
Treatment for Shin Splints can vary depending on the cause and severity.
In the early stages when the shin pain is mild, rest for a few days or possibly a week may be the best treatment, however in more severe cases involving a true stress fracture to the shinbone; you need to stop your activity altogether.
Treatment of Shin Splints
There are a few conventional treatment methods that should be followed by everyone regardless of the intensity.
- R.I.C.E – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- See a Podiatrist that works with a lot of sports people, especially netball players and this is exactly what we do at Heal Focus Podiatry
At Heal Focus Podiatry we will also:
- Evaluate your foot-type and footwear, and let you know if you’re wearing the right shoe for your specific foot-type because the wrong shoe can lead to injury.
- Determine if your foot rolls inwards or outwards too much.
- It’s important to point out that only a Podiatrist knows how to treat faulty foot biomechanics correctly. Your Physiotherapist and Chiropractor may be able to identify a faulty foot, but they cannot treat it.
- Decide if you need Orthotics because not everyone requires orthotics, even if you’ve been told otherwise.
- Explain a vast array of other therapies, such as ultrasound, acupuncture or shockwave therapy to promote healing.
- Show you how to stretch correctly
Preventing Shin Splints
If you’ve suffered from shin splints, there’s a good chance you never want it again.
Having the correct footwear for your foot-type is paramount to preventing shin splints and also keeping track of how old they are and how many games you’ve played.
Some people look after their shoes too well, meaning they look almost brand new even after 12 months, but internally they are useless. The cushioning and control of the shoe is completely worn out.
It’s also important to warm up before you exercise, do light stretching and avoid hard surfaces if you can. If you’re experiencing pain in your shins right now, you should stop, because trying to run through the shin pain rarely pays dividends.
Shin splints can worsen quickly
If you are suffering from shin splints, or some other running or sporting injury give us a call at Heal Focus Podiatry on 0401 828 001.
At Heal Focus Podiatry we treat dozens of athletes with shin splints every year, and experience has shown that early treatment is always the best option.