Why Does The Tip Of My Big Toe Feel Numb Shin Splints in Lacrosse Players

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Shin Splints in Lacrosse Players

What is a “shin splint”?

Splints occur on the medial (toe side) and posterior (back) sides of the shinbone. This is when the tibialis posterior muscle pulls away from the back of the tibia (shin bone). This tear occurs when the girdle begins to collapse and the muscle is repeatedly overstretched during running. This is very painful and can lead to more serious injuries.

Who gets them?

People who run a lot get them…like lacrosse players. This usually happens when they increase their running speed and the body can’t repair itself quickly enough for tissue breakdown from the sudden increase in training.

Anatomical description:

Tibialis posterior runs from the upper back of the tibia down, past the top of the foot on the inside of the ankle, and attaches to the bottom of a small bone that forms part of the arch of the foot. As pounding/running increases, the belt gives a little every time the foot hits the ground. Each time this muscle is pulled, it pulls it down the back of the tibia. This shearing or pulling can actually begin to pull the muscle from where it is attached. This causes pain, inflammation and weakening of the bone lining (periosteum). If this is left long enough, the bone can weaken and lead to stress fractures as well as complete fractures.

What else could happen?

Doctors should have 3 differential diagnoses when considering the problem. When considering shin pain, here are some things to rule out:

1. Fracture (stress or open)

2. Anterior compartment syndrome

3. Pathology – neoplasm…large C. Rare, but possible.

X-ray examination results:

The doctor may take an X-ray. Not a bad idea. Make sure the pelvis is covered with a lead shield. Many fractures and shin splints can be seen on X-rays. Neoplasm can be like that. Anterior compartment syndrome is not visible on radiographs. This is a potentially very dangerous problem that should not be left to “go away on its own”. This requires a pressure release process. Consult a doctor. A neoplasm would be very unfortunate, but fortunately it is very rare.

Tell the difference between shin splints and anterior compartment syndrome:

There are splints on the big toe side of the shin bone. It hurts when you first start running, and in the early stages the pain goes away after you warm up. I’ll talk about how you can handle most of this yourself later.

Anterior compartment syndrome is on the outer side of the tibia, on the side of the pinky toe. It gives you a feeling of fullness, warmth, and tearing pain. This requires urgent medical attention.

Is shin splints harmless?

Should I encourage my daughter to be strict? No! If it’s severe enough and it’s left long enough, it can lead to weakening of the bone… micro-fractures, stress fractures, and then an outright fracture of the tibia! Wow!

Are you taking a break from Play?

It depends on how far it goes! Ask. If we catch it early, no, you don’t have to stop playing. I have great ways that he always plays and helps me get through it.

Self-care:

Materials:

Make Dixie Cup Ice Cubes. Yes, get a box, make a dozen and put them in the freezer

oGrab 2 is on the way to practice. Use on the road and on the way back. Put the latter in the refrigerator, so that the melting is minimal.

o Towel…hand size is good

oTraumeel ointment. I don’t sell it, but you can find it at http://www.heelusa.com

This is something you need to keep in your lacrosse bag! Great stuff for boo-boos!

Get oArk props!

I recommend the Spenco Full Length Soft Arch Cushion Pads. They are soft and this is important for many people. Look for them online. They should cost no more than $15.

Every morning:

After getting up, showering, and walking around a bit: do calf raises. You can balance: stand on one leg, pull the other behind your knee. Push up to your toes and hold for 2 seconds. At first, do 20 repetitions on each leg. Work up to 40 times on each leg.

What to do in the car on the way to practice:

Bring 2 dixie cups of ice cubes to the machine for practice. Keep one in the cooler after your workout. Take the other one and remove the lip of the bowl so the top of the ice cube is exposed and you can grab the glass and not the actual ice cube.

Lay the towel flat on the floor of the machine. Place your bare feet on the towel.

Use one Dixie cup of ice… about half per foot. Rub the painful area up and down. It drips everywhere. First it feels cold. Then he trembles. Then it freezes. This should take 3-5 minutes on each side. Using half of the ice cube on one side, move to the other.

Touch your toes while you are doing the icing. That is: As you rub the ice cube up and down, tap your toe like you’re impatient. There should be no less than 100 toes and no more than 200 on each side.

Now, make sure the towel is flat on the floor. Using your toes, roll the towel into a stick. Make sure everything is twisted. It takes some work. Do this 3 times, smoothing between each “out”.

Now use Traumeel. Use about an inch of ointment. Divide it in half and apply half to each leg.

Repeat this after your workout on your way home.

Every evening:

Calf lift. You can balance: stand on one leg, pull the other behind your knee. Push up to your toes and hold for 2 seconds. At first, do 20 repetitions on each leg. Work up to 40 times on each leg.

If you do all of these every morning, before your workout, after your workout, and before you go to bed… your calves should be gone in 2 weeks. If they don’t, contact me for more ideas.

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