Jul 25

Sprint From Pain Into Balance

As we slip into the summer months, something about the warm, sunny days and the beauty of the outdoors gets us all wanting to change our sedentary lifestyles to an active one – or increase the level of activity to those who already lead an active lifestyle.

With these changes being made, we lead our bodies into a place that is very susceptible to injury, as there is not adequate flexibility and elasticity in our tissues or fluidity in the joints due to them not being used to the level of activity we want to engage them in.

With saying this, we run the risk of causing various injuries that can inhibit the extent of our activity or performance, such as sprained or delayed onset muscle soreness and muscle strain, all in which can cause decreased range of motion, pain or weakness.

A common injury that could arise over the summer months is anterior compartment syndrome, also known as shin splints. This is pain in the lower leg, which is brought on by over use or an increased activity level, causing pain in the anterior portion of the lower leg – also known as the shin.

When we exercise, our muscles increase in volume due to the amount of blood flow we receive to the area. When inactive, the elasticity of the muscles and connective tissue are lacking, so as the muscle swells it will increase the pressure within the compartment, causing pain from restriction of oxygen and blood flow. This is common amongst an increase of running, walking or hiking. There will be an initial ache and tightness over the shin, and pain will increase with exercise but decrease with rest. As the conditions worsen, pain will become more severe and limit activity.

Massage therapy can help in preventing and reducing these issues that could arise. Maintenance to the muscle and connective tissue (lengthening the muscle) in the lower leg can allow for the increased volume of the muscles while active. This will reduce the pressure in the compartment and keep a regular flow of blood and oxygen which will eliminate a pain response.

Facial technique can elongate the connective tissue, as well as break down adhesions that are limiting the elasticity of the compartment. Swedish massage is essential for bringing fresh blood supply and oxygen into the areas and helps lengthen shortened muscle fibers in combination with passive stretching, which will assist in maintaining and elongating the tissues and shortened muscles.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of shin splints, or if you are looking to engage in a more intensive activity level which could cause the onset of this pain, come treat your body to a therapeutic massage therapy treatment at Balance today.