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Shin Splints

A focus on Shin Splints

What are Shin Splints?

Medically known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, ‘shin splints’ is a term used to refer to pain along the inside of the tibia or shin bone. The exact pathology that causes the pain of shin splints is unclear and imaging such as ultrasound produces similar results when compared to persons who don’t have shin splints. The pain of shin splints is usually felt over the area where two particular muscles insert into the tibia. These are Tibialis Posterior and Flexor Digitorum Longus, these muscles act to extend the foot and toes respectively.

Despite having an unclear pathology, this can be a debilitating condition that can impact activity levels significantly. The pain can be quite limiting and may even be an early warning sign of a stress fracture and this will need to be ruled out by a medical professional.

What are the symptoms?

Shin splints are typified by persistent leg pain, usually the inside of the shin, halfway down the lower leg. The pain might be felt during exercise or directly after. Some people experience a dull ache over their shin that lasts for quite a while after exercise stops, while for others the pain may be sharp and fades quickly.

The pain is often progressive, becoming worse with shorter distances. Eventually, shin splints can severely impact activity levels as the pain becomes too severe to continue exercise.

What are the causes?

Shin splints are predominantly seen in runners who increase their distances quickly, often while training for an event. Activities that require repetitive weight bearing of any kind, such as marching or high impact sports have also been shown to cause shin splints. Although the pathology of shin splints is unclear, studies have been able to identify certain risk factors that may predispose someone to shin splints. These include:

  • An abrupt increase in activity level
  • Improper footwear and support
  • Higher BMI
  • Training on hard or uneven surfaces
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Flat feet
  • Females are more likely to develop shin splints than males
  • Increased external rotation range of the hips
  • Prior history of shin splints
  • Wearing or having worn orthotics

How can physiotherapy help?

The first step for your physiotherapist will be to address any contributing factors and help to adapt your training program to a level that is optimum for you. A period of relative rest may be recommended along with a targeted strengthening and stretching program for any tight or weak muscles.

Switching to low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling and yoga may also help to maintain fitness during recovery. Your running technique will be analyzed and any training errors may be corrected. When getting back into your training routine, it is usually recommended that distances are not increased by more than 10% per week as this allows the tissues of the body to react to the increased demands and adapt accordingly.

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Please speak to one of our physiotherapists for advice on your individual injury.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Rheumatoid Arthritis | Symptoms and Treatment

What is it?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis classified as an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. This process of inflammation, the bodies defence system against injury and infection can damage joints and cause deformity over a long period of time. Unlike osteoarthritis, which usually affects larger joints that are involved in weight bearing, rheumatoid arthritis can affect many joints at the same time, with smaller and larger joints affected equally.

What are the symptoms?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, characterised by periods of remissions and flare-ups. During a flare-up, joints might become red, hot, swollen and painful. During a remission a patient might have few symptoms, however over many years, these flare-ups can degrade and deform joints, causing them to lose function and the muscles around them to weaken.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from mild to severe and as mentioned, can fluctuate significantly over time. As movement can help to reduce swelling caused by inflammation, pain can actually increase as joints are rested. A person with rheumatoid arthritis may complain of pain and stiffness that is worst when waking and may take 1-2 hours to subside.

What are the causes?

While rheumatoid arthritis is known to be a process of autoimmune dysfunction, the trigger that causes the immune system attack healthy tissues is unknown. In some cases, a virus may trigger the onset of the disease. There is evidence that women have a stronger immune system than men, and a downside of this is that they are more prone to autoimmune disorders, as is the case with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Other risk factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis include a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, obesity and smoking.

How can physiotherapy help?

While there is no cure at present for the disease process that causes rheumatoid arthritis, there are treatments that can improve the patient’s quality of life and help to manage the symptoms. The first line of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is medication particularly, anti-inflammatory medications. Change in lifestyle and diet are also advised.
The objectives of physiotherapy treatment for rheumatoid arthritis are to improve joint mobility, increase strength, restore the function of the affected joints and to maintain the level of activity of the patient. Physiotherapy treatments include heat or cold therapy, hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercises, pain management, manual techniques and patient education. Splinting may be done to protect joints from further damage. Patient education is an important part of the treatment so that the patient is knowledgeable about his/her disease, what to do and not to do.

All of these treatments can help reduce the potential long-term disabilities caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Speak to your physiotherapist for more information.

 

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Alex Magee Talks Osteoporosis on 101.5FM

October 20, 2017, marked World Osteoporosis Day.

This year the campaign theme is ‘Love your Bones: Protect your Future”.

Our Exercise Physiologist, Alex Magee, spoke to 101.5FM about the health risks of osteoporosis and to raise awareness for positive steps towards good bone health.

 

Listen to the interview

 

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Physio Tips: How to help your kids stay active

Research shows that many children today are struggling to meet their daily-recommended targets for physical activity. We know that inactivity is a risk factor for a multitude of chronic diseases and many of the habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood.

Physical activity is important for a growing body as movement and weight bearing have a large impact on bone strength, muscle and tendon health. Here are some tips to make sure your child is staying as active as possible.

1. Find an activity that suits your child’s personality and abilities.

Children who are very coordinated and excel in competition may find team sports both increase their self-esteem as well as keep them fit. For other children, being a part of a team can cause embarrassment and they may say they dislike exercise, when in fact what they dislike is feeling like a failure and letting down the team.

These children may prefer a sport where success measured by improving their own performance, rather than being compared to other children. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing or gymnastics may be activities that suit your child if competitive and team sports cause them to be discouraged.

2. Do get injuries checked out by a professional and invest in proper rehabilitation.

While children do bounce back quickly from injuries, they also may have difficulty expressing themselves and their worries when they have pain. A niggling pain that won’t go away may cause your child to say “I don’t like sport” rather than mentioning that they are in pain.

Some children may retain worries that they will hurt themselves again because of a previous injury and avoid exercise because they don’t feel completely confident.  Your physiotherapist can help to identify any issues that your child is having and help to resolve them.

3. Set fun and challenging goals for them to complete during their daily routine.

As fewer children are walking and riding to school, try to find ways to fit extra activities into the day. Have a daily long jump competition in the backyard at the same time each day or have bed making time trials. Have a routine before bed of age-appropriate exercises, such as star jumps, hopping, balancing and running on the spot. You can make this part of the night or morning ritual, just like brushing your teeth.

Talk to your physiotherapist for more tips on how to increase your child’s activity levels. Finding an activity that matches your child’s age level is key to keeping them engaged and active.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Talking Bones on World Osteoporosis Day

October 20, 2017, marks World Osteoporosis Day. This year the campaign theme is ‘Love your Bones: Protect your Future”.

I’d like to inform the Caboolture community about the health risks of osteoporosis, which are significant, and raise awareness for positive steps towards good bone health.

With one in three women, and one in five men being affected by bone fractures annually, osteoporosis is a world health problem, and it’s growing! By 2022, it is estimated there will be 1.27 million older Queenslanders with low bone mass, which is an increase of 39% from 2012. Among Queenslanders aged 50 years and older in this year’s survey, 14% had osteoporosis and 52% have osteopenia.

In 2017 there will be 88 fractures each day among older adults in Queensland. This year alone, the cost to Queenslanders of osteoporosis and osteopenia is estimated to be around 611 million dollars.

What is osteoporosis? It is a disease that is caused by a loss of bone minerals, making bone become brittle, leading to a higher risk of breaks than in a normal bone.

Can it be stopped? It is possible! Anyone over 50 who has had a fracture from a minor injury should be investigated for osteoporosis. Women over 50 who have one of these fractures are four times more likely to have another fracture the next year. When undiagnosed, Osteoporosis can take a heavy toll on an individual’s independence, mobility, and quality of life, especially when left untreated.

Information is crucial to the prevention of osteoporosis and to achieving a good life with osteoporosis. Treatment often involves mineral supplements, hormone replacement, and medications. But the real quality of life outcomes come from management by diet, exercise, fall’s prevention strategies and training, and the recovery of good movement without pain. For this, the best evidence-based approach is with the combined efforts of a trained Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist and Dietician, to get you out of pain, into exercise, functional again in your community, and feeling healthy again.

At Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre, our specialised Osteoporosis Prevention team of Kaye Kerr (Physiotherapist), Alex McGee (Exercise Physiologist) and Cathy Lowe (Dietician), are here to help!

Get in touch today.

 

 

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.