Shin splints are simply pain in the front of your lower leg that usually comes from an increase in weight bearing activity. It often gets more sore the longer you walk or run, to the point where you really need to stop and sit. It is more accurately called an anterior compartment syndrome, which develops from an increased pressure in the confined space of the shin muscles, usually on the outer side of the leg. Self-treatment involves applying pressure or massage over the affected muscles. It will always be tender to touch, but should feel better after a minute or so of massage. Chiropractic care focuses on making sure the joints of the feet and knees are working properly as well as the feet being supported properly with good shoes or custom made orthotic arch supports. We can also be very helpful at showing you exactly where and how to do the deep tissue massage. Some patients learn quickly how to do it for themselves, while others come in for our professional care.
Sciatica is leg and/or foot pain that comes from an irritated nerve in the spine. It is usually either a facet strain or a bulging disc in the lower back that may or may not have back pain associated. The pain can show up in different parts of the foot, depending on which spinal nerve is irritated. This type of pain is often aggravated by things that irritate your lower back such as bending to lift, or trying to straighten up, or prolonged sitting. Using ice on your lower back may help the foot pain as well as gentle stretching or getting up and moving around. The best treatment for this problem is Chiropractic adjustments to restore the normal mobility and function of the lower back, thus removing the irritation to the nerves.
The nerves to your feet can also be irritated in the leg by impingement from tension in the muscles when you have a compartment syndrome (shin splints). Pain can shoot to the feet from trigger points (spasmed muscles which shoot pain when they are pressed on). For both of these conditions, applying pressure/massage to the affected muscles can truly help the foot pain.
Arthritis of the joints in the feet is common, especially in the big toe. This condition comes on very gradually but interestingly the pain often shows up suddenly from a flare up brought on by some overuse or strain to the affected joint. It can be aching at rest or painful to move, but generally keeping an arthritic joint moving is the best advice. Keep movements and exercise within your pain free range of motion. Apply ice for 15 minutes an hour for relief or moist heat (grain bag for 2 min in microwave or damp cloth on skin with heating pad over) for 20 minutes per hour. Some over-the-counter anti inflammatory medications may bring some temporary relief as well. Of course any joints that have become stuck can be helped with Chiropractic adjustments. Often the arthritic joint is already too mobile and Chiropractic adjustments are focused on the nearby stiff joints that are causing strain to the arthritic joints.