Dry needling for shin splints can relieve pain and allow you to return to running. Shin splints can be debilitating, and if you’re a runner they can essentially put a stop to your training. The good news is that a new and popular treatment, dry needling, can help relieve shin splint pain.
Treating your shin splint pain can be tricky, and shin splints are a confusing injury in general. In this content, I’ll address a few topics related to shin splints and discuss dry needling for shin splints.
Where is My Shin Splint Pain Coming From?
Dry needling can be an effective treatment for shin splints. Shin splints typically originate in two areas:
The outside of your shin, upper to middle of your lower leg – When you’re lower leg pain is in this location, it’s the tibialis anterior muscle that’s contributing to your pain.
The inside of your shin, lower towards your ankle – When you’re lower leg pain is in this location, it’s the tibialis posterior muscle that’s contributing to your pain.
Sometimes your shin splint pain is in both of these areas, meaning both muscles may be contributing to your pain. Other muscles in your lower leg like your calf muscles may be contributing as well. Those with poor running form, poor ankle mobility, and poor hip mobility may have additional muscles predisposing them to shin splints as well.
Besides shin splints being common in runners, they are also somewhat common in Muay Thai or kickboxing athletes.
I’ve seen a fair number of cases develop with this activity as I treat quite a few MMA or Muay Thai competitors. If you’re into Muay Thai or kickboxing and are looking for more ways to avoid shin splints, Middle Easy has a great article on the topic here –> How to Avoid Shin Splints in Muay Thai
How Can Dry Needling for Shin Splints Help?
Dry needling for shin splints can help reduce muscle tension, tightness, and trigger points around the lower leg. This gives your muscles more flexibility and ultimately reduces shin splint pain. This is a huge step in relieving shin splints and it may even give you some instant relief.
I would go as far to say that dry needling provides the quickest relief for shin splints compared to other treatments I perform. It’s the closest thing to a quick fix for shin splints, that is if it’s going to work for your case. I always give you home exercises and other advice when I use dry needling for shin splints. Rehab is the best strategy for this type of injury, and there’s not a lot of other medical treatment options.
Treatment for shin splints with dry needling involves using small needles to reduce myofascial trigger points in the affected muscles. Dry needling can be painful, but it’s typically mild to moderate pain. The risks of dry needling for shin splints are also very few. If you’re interested in dry needling you can read more about our dry needling services this page –> Dry Needling
Other Strategies to Get Relief From Shin Splints
- Treat the injury early with at home treatments. For acute shin splints, ice, compression, and elevation may help. If it has been past 48-72 hours since the initial injury you can use heat for relief. Shin splints tend to be a chronic injury, so to treat them effectively you may need to see a provider who knows how to treat them.
- Avoid continuing to aggravate the painful areas. Make sure you’re not continuing to aggravate the shin splints by running, jumping, or other exercises. It’s good to stay moving, but until you address your shin splints with dry needling and other treatments it’s likely to make the shin splints hurt more.
- Change your shoes. Sometimes bad footwear can cause shin splints. Running shoes have a limited mileage and yours may be over their limit. Also, not all shoes are made for running which can cause poor foot strike. Everyone’s gait and feet are unique, so the same shoe doesn’t work for everyone.
- Get your mechanics looked at. I look at lower back mobility, hip mobility, knee mobility, ankle mobility, and foot mobility when I’m examining a patient with painful shin splints. This allows me to prescribe corrective exercises for your shin splints. Sometimes manipulating (adjusting) dysfunctional joints in these areas will help restore better motion as well.
- Take a break. Staying active is necessary for your overall health and wellness. I never tell a patient with shin splints to stop exercise, but I will tell them to modify, shorten, or stop running for a little. You can lift weights or do some other training in the meantime while giving your legs a while to heal.
If you’re looking for more information on how to prevent shin splints, here’s a great article from Runners Connect on the topic –> The Ultimate Guide to Shin Splints for Runners
Dry Needling for Shin Splints in Cary, NC
Our Cary chiropractic office offers dry needling for shin splints and other muscular, joint, or neurological concerns. Dr. Jason also offers acupuncture and can help you determine what treatments for shin splints are right for your individual case. If you want to see more of our blog content feel free to see visit our blog here –> chiropractic care blog
Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.
If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.