Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), are common among athletes and are caused by inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and tissue around the tibia. This article explores how to treat MTSS effectively, focusing on the benefits of shockwave therapy.
Causes of Shin Splints
MTSS is frequently caused by intense physical exercise, mainly when individuals are new to an activity or have recently changed their training routine. Other factors contributing to MTSS include flat feet, abnormal arches, atypical running styles, and inappropriate footwear. Patients may also have an undiagnosed stress fracture in the tibia, tendinitis, or chronic exertional compartment syndrome.
Treating Shin Splints
The most common symptoms of MTSS are sharp or dull pain and mild swelling in the inner edge of the tibia, particularly during and after exercise. In addition, patients may experience tenderness when the affected area is touched. Treatment options include rest, switching to low-impact activities, anti-inflammatory medication, ice, compression, conditioning exercises, and proper footwear.
Surgery for MTSS is rare, and its effectiveness is uncertain. However, shockwave therapy is a promising treatment that uses acoustic pressure waves to improve metabolism and circulation. This therapy has been shown to help MTSS patients recover quickly.
Shockwave Therapy for Shin Splints
A recent study published in the International Journal of Surgery evaluated whether one shockwave therapy session combined with an exercise program could help military cadets with MTSS. Researchers divided forty-two cadets with unilateral chronic MTSS into two groups. One group received one shockwave therapy session and an exercise program, while the other group only performed the exercise program. In addition, researchers measured asymptomatic running time, a visual analog scale (VAS) after running, and a modified Roles and Maudsley (RM) score.
After four weeks, the shockwave therapy group could run for more than seventeen minutes without shin pain, while the exercise-only group could run for less than five minutes without pain. The shockwave therapy group also had a lower VAS score of more than two points and a higher proportion of excellent or good RM results than the exercise-only group.
In conclusion, just one shockwave therapy session with an exercise program can significantly enhance the recovery process for MTSS. Medical Wave is the exclusive distributor of Storz shockwave therapy machines, leading the industry for over thirty years. Shockwave therapy is drug-free, non-invasive, and suitable for all healthcare professionals.