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CASE STUDY – Marathon Runner Overcomes Shin Splints with Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Patient Background:

Sarah, a 28-year-old runner training for a marathon, came to our clinic with persistent shin pain. She had been training intensely for an upcoming race and began experiencing severe pain in her shins, particularly after long runs. Her symptoms included tenderness along the inner part of the lower leg, mild swelling, and discomfort that worsens with physical activity.

Diagnosis:

After a thorough examination and discussion of her training program, we diagnosed Sarah with medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), commonly known as shin splints. This condition was exacerbated by repetitive stress from her running.

Treatment Plan:

Shockwave Therapy.

We incorporated extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) into Sarah’s treatment. Shockwave therapy uses sound waves to stimulate healing in damaged tissues. Sarah underwent weekly sessions for six weeks. This therapy helped reduce inflammation, promote blood flow, and accelerate tissue repair.

Customised Exercise Program:

We designed a specific exercise regimen focusing on strengthening and stretching the muscles around the shin. Key exercises included:

Calf Raises: To strengthen the calf muscles.

Toe Taps: To engage the anterior tibialis muscle.

Foam Rolling: To relieve tension in the calf and shin muscles.

Eccentric Heel Drops: To improve tendon strength and flexibility.

Additionally, we advised Sarah to incorporate cross-training activities such as swimming and cycling to reduce impact stress on her shins.

Footwear Adjustment:

Upon evaluating Sarah’s running shoes, we found they were worn out and lacked proper support. We recommended she switch to a new pair of running shoes with adequate arch support and cushioning. We also suggested custom orthotics to provide additional support and reduce strain on her shins.

Outcome:

After six weeks of combined treatment, Sarah reported significant improvement. Her pain levels had decreased, and she was able to gradually resume her training with modified intensity. By the end of three months, Sarah was back to her full training schedule, pain-free and well-prepared for her marathon.

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