- Published: Thursday, 22 August 2013 09:32
Ask A Pro, Get Answers
This month's Ask A Pro questions comes from Lacey who is an avid runner, but has been experiencing some lower leg pain.
I’ve been training the last 3 months for a half marathon coming up in Toronto, and I’ve been getting this sharp achy pain in the inside of my lower left leg--only when I run. A friend suggested I buy new runners and run on softer ground, but I am still experiencing the same pain. I really don’t want to miss out on this run. Is there anything I can do?
The inside lower leg pain you are experiencing is caused by the overuse of the Tibialis Posterior muscle or shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome). This muscle supports the inside arch of the foot, and turns the sole of the foot inwards. An injury to this muscle is caused by the forceful contact of the heel on the ground. When the heel strikes the ground, the foot is bent downwards and the arch collapses which stretches the Tibialis Posterior. The powerful contraction and overstretch (eccentric loading) can lead to soreness and eventually injury to the Tibialis Posterior muscle.
Injury to the Tibialis Posterior can also be caused by a flat foot. Having flat feet causes the Tibialis Posterior, and the other muscles to become overworked and inflamed. Orthotics prescribed by your doctor could help to decrease the pain by support the arches of your foot. However, since the pain is only on your left leg, this problem could be attributed to a pelvic malalignment. Also, if the hips are malaligned, this can cause one leg to become longer than the other. The body compensates for this difference by collapsing the arch on the longer leg in order to level off the leg length, thus resulting in an overstretch in the Tibialis Posterior muscle especially when running.
Pelvic alignment should be neutral, and a warm up /cool down protocol needs to be used to ensure good alignment. You will also need to ice post run to limit the inflammation. Arches need to be supported so either buying new supportive shoes or using prescribed /off the shelf orthotics may help. Seeing a Therapist to have your pelvis neutral, as well as stripping out scar tissue in the damaged tendon to restore normal function is also helpful in fixing this issue.
At Evolution Sport Therapy, our team of Athletic Therapists specialize in realigning pelvic levels to alleviate lower leg pain. We also do custom mold orthotics depending on your condition. Please book an appointment with a Certified Athletic Therapist to decrease your pain and increase your mobility in the shortest time possible.