View Full Version : Shin Lock up!

-4th December 2003, 09:20
Hi guys.

Anyone else had a similair problem?

Last night during a lesson a found myself unable to move properly because my shins had 'locked up'. I was a really strange sensation. The muscle on the front of my shin felt very tense and wasn't for moving - almost like cramp but the feeling was different. At one point the strain felt really bad and I got a tingling sensation from the top of my shin down to my foot. I rested up for a wee bit and eventually they slackened off and I could fence ok towards the end of the night.

I'll be taking things easy in the run up to H&W but I am a little worried about it happening again.

-4th December 2003, 09:29
happened to me after footie once - just basic cramp I think - keep the muscles warm, drink fluids, eat salty food - usual precautions - you shold be fine, forget about it

-4th December 2003, 14:10
It could just be cramp, but it could be a couple of other things, too.

If it was quite low down, and a little to the inside, the it could be what is normally known as shin splints, or periostitis.

If though, as I suspect, it was either quite high, or virtually all down, the outside of the lower leg, then it could be anterior compartment syndrome - sometimes also know as shin splints, or anterior shin splints.

I suffer from anterior compartment syndrome, it's excruciating, but, thankfully, treatable. What happens is that the tibialis anterior muscle, which runs down the outside of the front of the tibia (shin bone) becomes too large for the sheath that contains it, and exerts pressure on the sheath, causing terrific pain.

When you start to exercise, the blood vessels in the muscle dilate, and the volume of the muscle quite suddenly increases beyond the capacity of the sheath.

The onset of pain is quite rapid, and very intense. It becomes painful to flex the ankle either up or down. Turning the ankle in (to walk on the outside edge of the foot) is painful, but turning it out brings some slight relief.

Rest of just a few minutes lets the pain subside, but it returns rapidly when exercise is resumed. Complete rest of 15-20 minutes is required before exercise can be resumed.

If this sounds like you, then it's probably anterior shin splints.

If you received a knock on that area before it occured, then it was probably acute, and will probably not recur.

However, if it does recur as the result of a knock (even a hit at epee if its quite heavy), then rest and apply ice.

If you find it happening without having received a blow, it could be a chronic syndrome. In this case do not apply ice. Instead, apply heat, like a heat spray, for example.

If it begins to happen regularly, then it's worth a visit to a sport therapist, as there are massage techniques that can encourage flexibility and extension of the tibialis anterior sheath. also certain insoles can completely erradicate the problem in some cases. A sports therapist would also spot if this would help.