By Adena Mai-Jardine, B.A., PFT, RMT
What is it?
The periosteum is a connective tissue in our body that covers our bones. Muscles attach to the bone via tendons and the periosteum. Periositis is inflammation of the periosteum. One common type of periositis is generally referred to as “shin splints” – and more specifically, “medial tibial stress syndrome”. Medial tibial stress syndrome comprises about 18% of run- ning injuries and affects more women than men. (source: Rattray, Clinical Massage Therapy).
Why does it occur?
There are many reasons why we develop medial tibial stress syndrome. As an overuse injury, the periosteum is stressed and due to continued stress (ie. we continue running) is unable to heal and finally pulls away from the tibia bone. The following are contributing factors for medial tibial stress syndrome:
- Poor running technique
- Running on hard or uneven surfaces
- Improper footwear
- Postural/biomechanical abnormalities/asymmetries
Signs and Symptoms
Just as a clarifier, the muscle in the front of the lower leg, the tibia is anterior, can become sore and tired with lots of walking and hill climbing. People immediately say they have “shin splints”, but this most likely is not medial tibial stress syndrome, just a sore and tired muscle. If you have medial tibial stress syndrome, you may experience the following signs and symp- toms; however, having one or more of these symptoms is not a diagnosis for medial tibial stress syndrome.
- Pain along the tibia
- Achiness when getting up in the morning
- Achiness with exercise
Pain may subside during exercise, but with repeated stress, the condition will become chronic and pain will be constant
What is my next step?
Your massage therapist can complete a postural and orthopedic assessment which will begin to form a basis for your concern. From the results of the assessment, a treatment plan can be developed specifically for you and for your muscles. Me- dial tibial stress syndrome, as with other overuse injuries, need REST in order to begin healing. A proper warm up is impor- tant and thorough stretching of the calf muscles should be completed after exercising. Ice can also be used to reduce the inflammation.
Remember, chronic conditions, unfortunately, can cause problems throughout your entire body – believe it or not – from your neck to the bottom of your feet, so deal with them as soon as possible. We want to keep you active – pain free.
Author: Adena Mai-Jardine, B.A., PFT, CMT,
Massage Therapy & Holistic Centre – 780-984-4769