Managing Your Shin Splints
A body roller such as the Original Worm works to provide trigger point release by simultaneously massaging the anterior, medial, and lateral shin while comfortably hugging the tibia.
Runners (and other athletes participating in sports that involve running) often suffer from pain along the shinbone anywhere between the ankle and knee, a condition commonly known as shin splints. While rest, icing, and anti-inflammatories are some of the treatments often recommended, many opt for self-massage of the area to help with the pain they’re feeling. That’s where a body roller such as the Original Worm comes in—this roller works to provide trigger point release by simultaneously massaging the anterior, medial, and lateral shin while comfortably hugging the tibia.
“The Original Worm is a great tool to help relieve pain caused by shin splints and should be used as a part of a broader program to correct the biomechanical cause,” said Kyler Brown, D.C., C.C.S.P., of Austin Sports Therapy. “The Worm’s large surface area, combined with the padded, firm structures underneath, makes it safe to use without inflaming the connective tissue surrounding the tibia.”
Single Leg Method: Start in a kneeling position with hands flat on the floor. Place the Worm with the middle groove just below the knee on the shinbone. Slowly roll the Worm up and down the length of the shin by moving the knee forward and back. Repeat with the other side.
Double Leg Method:Place shins on outermost grooves and slowly move both knees forward and back simultaneously. This is also a great core workout.
It is recommended to roll out both shins and calves for optimal relief.
Single Leg Method: Sit on the ground, with one leg straight out in front of the body and the other leg bent. Place the middle groove of the Worm under the calf muscle just below the knee of the straight leg. Push down with hands, fingers pointed forward, lifting the body and slowly roll the length of the calf.
Double Leg Method: Sit on the ground, with both legs straight out in front. Place the Worm below the knees with the outer grooves under each calf. Push down with hands, fingers pointed forward, lifting the body and slowly roll the length of the calves. This is also a great core workout.
Note: Dr. John McDonald, a Steadman Clinic fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with Texas Orthopedics, suggests a rule of thumb for chronic overuse-type injuries, such as shin splints: Trying a reasonable alternative therapy is fine, but don’t let the cycle continue for more than six weeks before seeing a physician.