How our Denver Active Release chiropractors treat shin splints.

By Dr. Jeff Stripling, Denver Chiropractic Center

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home: that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
– John Muir

After my  run last night, the pain in my lower leg is not feeling too bad.  I am still experiencing ‘tibial stress syndrome’ or shin splints but it is nothing to prevent climbing Mt Quandry tommorrow.  Shin Splints are most often caused by overuse, increasing intensity/duration of training, and activities that require sudden stops and starts.  Shin splints happen when muscle fibers in the muscles that stabalize and move the ankle/foot tear from their periosteal attachment.  After the initial injury, these muscles become fibrotic during the healing phase which can exacerbate the pain with increased activity.

The best thing that can be done for shin splints is Active Release Technique (ART).  ART will break up the fibrotic tissues, scar tissue, and adhesions that limit range of motion and cause pain.  Icing can also be used to relieve pain and inflammation, using a styrofoam cup filled with frozen water, tear off the top edge of cup so the ice is exposed and gripping the covered bottum, massage painful areas for 8-10 minutes.  Rest for 30 min and repeat for another 8-10 min.

Stretching and strengthening are also great ways to decrease the amount of discomfort you feel and to prevent recurring shin splints.  One stretch that I use is  get into a forward lunge position and plantar flex your back foot (so the top side of foot is on the ground), you should feel a stretch on the front side of your lower leg.  Hold for 15 sec and repeat 5 times on each leg.  There are many exercises to do prevent shin splints, one exercise is the 4 way range of motion exercise.  Move your foot/ankle into dorsiflexion (toes pointing up), plantar flexion (toes pointing down), eversion, and inversion.  Complete all 4 movements 10x each on both legs.

To prevent shin splints from overuse, it is a good idea to only increase your milage 10% each week.  This will allow the shin muscles (tibialis anterior, extensor hallicus longus, extensor digitorum longus) to strengthen without creating microtears in the tissue.  Shin splints are not something that you “just have to put up with,”  come in the office and we will get you back to living/training without pain. DONT PUT UP WITH PAIN!

Denver’s most credentialed Active Release Provider & only Denver Active Release instructor, Dr. Glenn Hyman.

It’s hard to believe, but in August, 2000 – 11 years ago – I got my first ART certification. In November, 2000, I went to Toronto to get my second. I remember getting heckled by Canadians over the Bush-Gore election mess.

Now it’s 11 years later, I’m proud that I’m the only Active Release Instructor in Denver (I was invited by Dr. Mike Leahy, the ART founder, to become an instructor in 2002). Tomorrow – August 5 – I’ll be completing the newest Active Release course, Active Palpation Technique. I presently have every credential offered by Active Release except this brand new course. And I’m proud of that.

The truth is that others take a few ART classes, and then loudly advertise that they are ART providers. But that doesn’t mean that they base their practices on Active Release like I do, or like my associate Dr. Jeff Stripling does, or like my friend, colleague and competitor Dr. Michelle Clark does.

Sure, at Denver Chiropractic Center we also use chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy, but it all starts with ART. In fact, today I saw a new patient who was upset with her experience with another Active Release provider in Denver. This person advertises ART, and she went to see him for ART. But when she went, he did X-rays and adjusted her. When she asked for ART, he curtly told her that she didn’t need Active Release.

We don’t do that at our clinic. At Denver Chiropractic Center, we are an Active Release practice, and every patient gets Active Release, every time. If you’re looking for the most credentialed ART doc in Denver, and the only instructor in town, at a clinic that puts Active Release first, give us a call at 303.300.0424.