Most commonly a sports injury, Anterior Tibialis Syndrome, or Compartment Syndrome, is caused when the muscle on the outside of the lower leg (the tibialis anterior) becomes too big for the sheath that surrounds it, causing pain. This swelling can be a result of a tear or contusion of the muscle (acute), or built up from exercise over time (chronic). To ease the swelling and pain at home, rest and cold (ice) therapy is a must. In some cases taping can also provide pain relief by supporting and compressing the muscle. If the swelling is caused by a severe injury though, it is important to see a physician right away, as the pressure can decrease blood flow, restricting nourishment and oxygen from reaching the nerve and muscle cells leading to permanent muscle damage. The best way to treat chronic Anterior Tibialis Syndrome is to rest and avoid the activity that causes the pain, cross train with lower-impact activities, or perform the activity on a different surface (think concrete vs. grass). Custom orthotic inserts can also help by correcting faulty biomechanics and increasing appropriate shock absorption. If you want to find out if orthotics can help relieve the pain you feel from Anterior Tibialis Syndrome, give us a call today!
Note from Dr. Michael: Hi everyone! Barring direct impact, contusion type injury; anterior tibialis syndrome (also known as shin splints) is mostly commonly caused by “field” type activities. Examples of this are soccer, ultimate Frisbee, football, track & field, etc. What all of these activities have in common is the repetitive impact from ground forces. The human body has several built in shock-absorbing systems, and the arches of the foot are one of them. If you have flat (pronated) or high (supinated) arches, your shock-absorbing capabilities are not at their best. Consider foot examination at our office. A pair of sport style custom orthotics may just be the solution to your problems; anterior tibialis syndrome (shin splints).
Dr. Michael Horowitz
Vancouver Orthotics (604) 737-3668