What is the best treatment for shin splints? Would acupuncture help? Any advice you could give me would be appreciated!
Shin splints, a common injury that affects the tibialis anterior muscle of the lower leg, can be relieved with the help of acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that can be traced back 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points along the body to achieve an energy balance with the heart, lungs and all other organs and promotes natural healing.
Shin splints are thought to be caused by a congestion of blood flow and dehydration. The tibialis anterior muscle that is involved is linked to the digestive tract of the body and, according to Jeanann Eckert, a licensed acupuncturist in Spokane, Washington, can be helped greatly by a certain kind of acupuncture called Tui Na. This is because Tui Na is a type of Chinese medical massage that brings more oxygenated blood into the affected area. Eckert has successfully treated many people with shin splints including athletes, dancers and Navy Seals.
When treating shin splints, "The first treatment will make a huge difference," says Eckert. She then prescribes exercises and stretches to do between treatments and usually performs one or two more treatments in the following weeks to completely alleviate the symptoms. The exact length of recovery time depends on the severity of the shin splints, the patients' adherance to doing the prescribed exercises on their own and getting adequate rest time.
Other ways to help alleviate shin splints include topical treatments such as Bengay, stretching, increasing water intake and getting plenty of rest.