SAN ANTONIO, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Overuse can cause a number of issues such as Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, ankle pain and leg pain but if pain persists seek care from a podiatrist who can apply biomechanics to find the underlying causes states Ed Davis, DPM, a Board Certified Podiatrist in San Antonio, Texas.
Biomechanics is the study of mechanics of the body including the forces exerted by movement, gravity and the muscles of the body. It is is also the study of gait and locomotion. Repetitive motion can cause chronic injury especially if the motion and forces it creates are abnormal or due to faulty body mechanics.
Shin splints are a common cause of leg pain in runners. There are three muscle groups in the leg that are commonly affected by overuse or faulty mechanics. The anterior muscle group or muscles in the front of the leg are responsible for lifting the foot upwards and may become painful if the Achilles tendon is too tight, there is inadequate preparation for running on hills or due to poor running shoe design. Pain in the anterior muscle group is termed "anterior shin splints." The deep posterior muscle group are muscles that run on the inside of the leg and are responsible for lifting up on the arch and allowing the foot to gradually roll or pronate to absorb shock with each step. Excessive rolling in or excessive pronation of the foot can cause posterior shin splints. Overpronation may be congenital are exacerbated by inadequate shoegear especially overly soft running shoes. The lateral muscle group or peroneal tendons run along the outside of the leg and prevent ankle sprains, prevent the foot from rolling out too much (oversupination). Pain in the lateral muscle group or lateral shin splints can arise from weak ankles, congenital oversupination or improper shoegear. Dr. Davis discussed shin splints in his website: http://www.southtexaspodiatrist.com/A-Shin-Splints-529#content
A more serious consequence of untreated shin splints is known as chronic exertional compartment syndrome or exercise induced compartment syndrome. The muscle groups of the leg are contained within compartments made of fascia. The term "fascia" refers to bands or sheets of connective tissue binding muscles together. Fascia has minimal ability to stretch so if the muscles contained within the fascia swell, then pressure builds up in that fascial compartment. If the pressure increase is modest then pain and throbbing may occur but if the pressure build up is severe, then damage to arteries and nerves that run alongside or in the muscles may occur and that is considered an emergency. Treatment of acute compartment syndrome involves surgical release of the fascia to prevent nerve damage or death of muscle tissue. Treatment of chronic compartment syndrome involves treatment of the underlying biomechanical issues that are causing overuse of the specific muscle group affected. Here is a discussion of chronic exertional compartment syndrome: http://www.southtexaspodiatrist.com/A-Chronic-Exertional-Compartment-Syndrome-539#content
The first step is discovery of the biomechanical issues that cause chronic repetitive strain of the leg muscles beginning with a comprehensive exam. The second step is to address the problematic mechanics via biomechanical interventions which may include changes in running form, changes in running surface, changes or modifications of shoegear, foot orthotics, physical or manual therapy, ESWT.
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SOURCE Ed Davis DPM PLLC