image00Tired of icing, stretching, buying new shoes, taping, and still the pain of shin splints doesn’t go away? As a former collegiate vaulter and competitive gymnast, shin splints and calf pain were a constant hindrance to my performance. I had tried everything – bought the latest and greatest – and still nothing helped me. I learned over the years that the problem hardly ever exists where the pain is. What I have found is that most problems in the calves, ankles, knees and shins typically stem from a problem with immobility in the tissue. If you don’t do the necessary steps to prevent the fibrous tissue from building, inflammation sets in and it is a bear to combat. You will be spinning your wheels for months and never fully heal or fix the problem.

Here’s the thing – we live in a world where we are huge plantar flexers.  That means we probably walked on our toes as a child, causing tension to build in our calf muscles, and now they are so tight and locked up that we can hardly point our toes.  Thus, we are stuck in dorsiflexion. Think about it – all night long you sleep under the covers where the blankets are pressing your toes into a plantar flexion, causing more tension in the calf muscles. Then we wake up and jump out of bed, not taking the time to stretch. Then we are on our feet all day, go to workout, and are pounding our legs on the track, causing more inflammation to set in. So all the ice in the world, stem, and other modalities won’t help a chronic condition until the cause is addressed.

Might I also mention that the work I do with the Upper Cervical Spine sets the stage for balance in the body, and allows function to be restored to the body. If your 10-12 lb head is off center from your spine, it will cause imbalance to the rest of your body and will 100% cause tension in your calves.

-Dr. Wells

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