Medial Tibial stress syndrome (periostitis of the medial distal margin of the tibia) or ‘shin splints’ is a common complaint in athletes, especially those who change activity level or intensity over a short period of time, change of training surface, change of training shoe, alteration of technique (e.g. forefoot running from heel striking), but the most common is intensive training on hard tracks, streets or floors.
This syndrome can be triggered by running and other jumping sports, the main cause of the pain being repeated landing and take off from the surface. Runners who run with externally rotated feet (‘Charlie Chaplin runners’) and increased pronation can be a contributory cause.
Good preventative measures are to change training surface, duration and intensity gradually, warm up, cool down and stretch the posterior compartment muscles(Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Posterior Tibial, Flexor Hallucis Longus) regularly. I also find working on foot mobility including rolling the Plantar Fascia with a ball useful.
For treatment in my clinic I will conduct a thorough consultation looking at training plans/goals, training shoes and foot type.I will then asses the injury to get an accurate diagnosis and to rule out other lower leg pathologies including Posterior Compartment Syndrome or Stress Fracture etc. I will then, if appropriate massage the lower leg, both posterior and anterior compartments and apply Kinesiology Tape to off-load the affected area (as pictured ). I find this to be very effective, combined with cross training on a bike and swimming and temporary rest from running, excellent results can be achieved.
Dr Chris Van Tulleken, an infection specialist and researcher has launched a very interesting study and 2 part documentary aired on the BBC. The aim of the study was to reduce the amount of medication some NHS patients are prescribed, particularly for pain relief and low mood.
Studies show that after 6-8 weeks on pain killers that there efficacy is decreased and may even be counter productive and can lead to liver damage as well as being addictive.
In his study, Dr Van Tulleken consulted with GP’s at a North East London surgery with 14,000 patients on its books that issues 200,000 prescriptions per year. It became clear that as Dr Chris sat in on a clinic that there is a huge pressure for Doctors to end a 10 minute consultation with a prescription, due in no small part to the patients expectation.
This view is echoed by Dr Muir Gray, chief knowledge officer for the NHS who said ‘Over medication is the most serious problem we face.’ ‘40,000 Doctors with 10 minutes to get closure with a patient who is lead to believe the solution is a prescription , the Doctor with nothing else to offer is under pressure to end with a prescription.’ Dr Muir ended by saying ‘we need to change the way we think, we need to change the way we do things.’
Dr Chris Van Tulleken took time to visit patients at home and put in place alternatives to help combat long term chronic pain and depression. The treatment prescribed was reducing doses and dependancy on pain killers and anti depressants whilst increasing exercise. The results were quite dramatic and well worth a watch for any one suffering from long term pain or depression.The Doctor who gave up drugs is available to view on the BBCi player.
In conclusion I think the Doctors of the future will look more towards disease prevention with support for patients to make the right choices and take regular exercise. Studies show that a 30 minute brisk walk 5 times per week can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In my opinion well worth the effort and in the long run a lot less costly to the NHS. As Dr Muir Gray said, ‘Its time for change’
Sunday 24th April was a perfect day for the 2016 Prostate Cancer Uk Charity Ride organised by the Penzance Wheelers CC. The ride was well supported with an early estimate of over 150 riders…The sun was shining and roads were dry for the stunning 42 mile loop around the beautiful Penwith Peninsula, Cornwall.
I was privileged to be riding with my 13 year old boy, Sunny Donaldson, who is a keen cyclist and Club Captain of Penwith Vélo ,a youth cycling club in West Cornwall.
I have been cycling since I was 4 years old and can still vividly remember my first bike, a purple Raleigh Budgie and the feeling of fun and freedom that it gave which I still feel 40 years later when going for a ride. In the past I have worked as a Cycle Courier in Bristol, raced Mountain Bikes, competed in Triathlons and even done the odd Time Trial, but the most pleasure I get is from riding with friends and exploring new roads to see where they lead….
Good Health and Happiness, Ben
It has been a busy week in my Clinic since completing Kinesiology Taping for the Athlete Masterclass at the University of Oxford. I have been able to apply the knowledge gained on the course to the benefit of my patients, including Gig Rowers, Cricket players and Karate Black Belt proponents in training, all with great results, improved performance and reduced symptoms.
I am planning to further my knowledge in Kinesiology Taping by taking FMT 1 and FMT 2 courses at Plymouth Marjon. My ultimate goal is to be able to teach others interested in these techniques by running courses here in Cornwall and the South West.
You can read more about Kinesiology Taping here.
Kinesiology Taping is included in the price of an appointment with me, I can also offer Taping only appointments if that is what you require, e.g. for an event, please contact me for details. I can also supply top quality Kinesiology Tape for £8.00 per roll.
Good health and happiness, Ben
Do you suffer from Tennis Elbow, Achilles Tendinitis, Runners Knee, Sprained Ankle Ligaments, AC Joint Sprain or Muscle Strains?
You could be missing out on this beneficial treatment modality. Combined with other treatments including Sports Massage and Kinesiology Taping, Ultrasound Therapy could be the vital link in the road to your recovery.
Ultrasound Therapy is included in the price of an appointment with me at no extra cost. You can have Ultrasound Therapy at my Clinics in Cornwall at Penzance, St.Ives and Carbis Bay.
You can find out more about Ultrasound Therapy here.
Much Chi and Good Health, Ben
There are many benefits to regular Foam Rolling including,
Increased Blood Flow to muscles which in turn improves delivery of oxygen.
Help Relieve Muscle Tension especially after training.
Increased Range of Motion, the action of foam rolling can help to stretch your muscles.
Decreased Recovery Time, keeps muscles and connective tissue in an optimum state to allow more frequent and intense training with a reduced risk of injury.
You can watch a short video about Foam Rolling here.
I can supply quality Foam Rollers for £20, and also give advice and demonstrations at my clinics in Penzance, St.Ives and Carbis Bay.
Even though Foam Rollers are an excellent piece of equipment and bring many benefits for a small financial investment, they need to be used correctly and regularly, and can’t replace a Sports Massage from a skilled practitioner which can be more precise and focused when a Foam Roller just isn’t getting there.
Much Chi and Good Health, Ben
In July 2015 I was privileged enough to work on location in Cornwall providing Sports Massage for the lead Actors in the new BBC thriller ‘Undercover’.
I was contacted prior to the BBC coming to Cornwall to film Triathlon scenes for the new 6-part thriller. I was asked to provide Sports Massage for the Actors to keep them injury free and in top condition for the strenuous filming schedule on the cornish coast, which included Triathlon and fight scenes.
I really enjoyed working for the BBC and found the whole experience very interesting and rewarding.
If you would like me to attend your event in a professional capacity please contact me.
Much chi and good health, Ben
I am Looking forward to the Kinesiology Taping for the Athlete Masterclass Course in two weeks time at the renowned Oxford University Sports Facility, Iffley Road, where Sir Roger Bannister famously ran a sub 4 minute mile on 6th May 1954.
The course is run by John Gibbons who lectures in Sports Medicine at the University, John also works with Olympic athletes and the Oxford Rowing Team.
I am very exited about learning the most up to date techniques and principles in Kinesiology Taping and bringing them back to my clinics in Cornwall for the benefit of my current and future patients.
Much Chi and Good Health, Ben
Breathing is the number one requirement for us to survive, without oxygen we can barely survive longer than three minutes before our brain starts to die. But how often do we give any thought to this most necessary of functions?
Below is a link to Paul Chek’s Breathing Basics , in this youtube clip Paul describes the benefits of proper intentional breathing on the internal organs and body systems. It is only 8 minutes long and well worth a watch as breathing properly and conciously can have a profound effect on your wellbeing.
More on Breathing basics coming soon…..
Much chi and good health, Ben