Shin splints in football

Do you know periostitis?

It is an inflammation of the periosteum, and the most common is the tibia one. The periosteum is a connective-elastic membrane which is found on the surface of flat and long bones (outside the joint surface) and allows the development of the diaphysis widthwise. Continuous traction of the muscles on the membrane can cause it to peel off and lead to inflammation. It is a very common injury in football and volleyball players, runners, all sports which involve running, jumping (impacts against the ground) and sometimes also walking.

Why can football cause tibial periostitis?

Football is a sport with impacts; the tibialis anterior muscle is much solicited to control the movement of the tibia and the stabilization of the foot when impacting the ground. Therefore, an overuse of that muscle can cause hypotone and muscle overcompensation of the antagonists such as the calves or soleus for example.

The best known risk factors are unadapted footwear, too hard training ground, and repetitive impacts at the level of the tibia or even an inadequate foot and leg morphology (i.e. a flat or high arch foot, genu varum or valgum legs).

How to treat or prevent the injury?

Firstly, in the acute phase, it is recommended to stop the activity immediately and apply ice on the area of pain. Then you should seek advice from a health professional so that he can properly assess your injury.

If in addition, to the treatment your doctor or physical therapist will suggest you during sessions, you want to continue the treatment at home to upkeep the benefits we recommend you carry out stretching of the soleus and the calf muscles with prior supervision of your doctor or physio. Generally these tight muscles have trigger points. So if you want to treat these painful spots, 3TOOL can help you thanks to its zone 1, which allows applying compression on the trigger point, to relax the "knot" and reduce pain. A massage is also a good complement to relax these muscles, using zone 2 of 3TOOL and a little cream or oil, you will be able to do so without overstraining your hands.

Stretching and compression of trigger points are a direct treatment but also a method of preventing injury. Recovery from shin splints can take up from one to six weeks. Hence why you have to take the time needed to cure this pathology before returning to sport and prevent it from becoming chronic.

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