Archive for February 2014

What Are “Shin Splints”?

February 24, 2014

Although the term may suggest it, a shin splint is actually not a rigid device to immobilize or protect your shin. A shin splint is instead a pain in the shin caused by strenuous activity. This condition is known in medical circles as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).

The front of the tibia (one of the bones in the lower leg) can become inflamed due to excessive or repetitive stress being placed on the lower legs. Typically, this kind of stress includes frequent stopping and starting in sharp bursts, such as the kinds of movement common in soccer, basketball, tennis or football. Those who run frequently on hard surfaces can also be at greater risk of shin splints.

Specific sources for the kinds of impacts or pressure that can cause shin splints include the following:
• Running down a slope.
• Running on uneven terrain or non-level surfaces.
• Running in unsuitable shoes or once-suitable shoes that have become worn or damaged.
• Participating in athletic activities that include sudden stops and bursts of speed.
• Structural weaknesses or asymmetries in the foot.

The following symptoms may indicate a case of shin splints:
• Numbness and weakness in the feet (muscle swelling can aggravate the nerves).
• Soreness or tenderness down the inner part of the lower leg
• Modest swelling in the lower leg

Whether the underlying cause is pressure or impact, the key here is “excessive”. Aggressive athletes will be tempted to push “through the pain”. The problem with this strategy is that the pain from shin splints is NOT the same type of discomfort that can be produced when your body is exerting itself under the positive stress of a good workout or competition. It’s not like the “burn” or “stretch” that most athletes will be familiar with. Instead, shin splints are your body’s way of telling you that damage has been done. And that damage can actually be made worst by trying to push through it. And continuing the same level of excessive activity will likely delay recovery.


Due to hormonal factors, women are at greater risk for shin splints, particularly if they have low bone density, such as that accompanying osteoporosis.

Rest is the primary form of treatment for shin splints. Typically, two weeks is recommended to give the shin time to heal properly. Ice packs applied to the affected area and raising the legs can help reduce swelling and pain.
Before you return to normal physical activity, check with your chiropractor to ensure your feet are structurally sound and that your spine is properly aligned. Even seemingly slight problems can change the biomechanics of walking and running, causing excessive stress on your lower legs and possibly leading to problems like plantar fasciitis and shin splints.

After two weeks of rest, it should be okay to return to your regular activities. However, most physicians recommend that patients build up gradually to their prior levels of exercise or athletic activity in order to avoid setbacks in recovery. And—as always—it’s important that you be properly warmed up before engaging in strenuous activity of any kind to reduce the likelihood of injury or re-injury.

Contact Dr. Nicholas Carlisle – Atlanta Chiropractor at (404) 316-1190 (Buckhead) or (404) 781-2800 (Southwest Atlanta) for your appointment.

How Chiropractic Care Has Helped Me: Introducing Tony Schumacher

February 17, 2014

Tony Schumacher is a seven-time world champion in the NHRA Top Fuel class of drag racing. During his long career, this race car hero has set all kinds of speed records. In 1999, he was the first driver to break the 330 MPH barrier during competition. However, things took a turn for the worse on October 7, 2000 during a qualifying race in Memphis, Tennessee.

Schumacher said, “I woke up that morning, I was in a great mood. I just felt like a champ. I got in that race car, and I thought to myself, ‘There is no possible way we can lose this world championship.’ I was on probably one of my best runs ever.”

With an 8,000 horsepower engine behind him, Schumacher reached over 300 mph in a little over 4 seconds. He explained, “That’s more acceleration than the Space Shuttle astronauts or the fighter pilots off the aircraft carriers.” The rear wing of the dragster provides thousands of pounds of downward force to help keep the car from going airborne. After about 1000 feet, at 320 mph, Tony Schumacher’s car fell apart. The wing came off and then everything went haywire.


As it was designed to do, the car came apart to reduce the shock of impact and the driver’s pod took off on its own. “I remember it being intensely loud,” said Schumacher about the accident. Remarkably, he survived. He had to be cut out of the roll cage and it was only then that everyone knew he was still alive.

Flown 14 miles by helicopter to the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, x-rays revealed serious injuries to his legs, including a fracture at one ankle. That alone could have ended his career, even if he survived the surgery. Thankfully no fractures were found in his neck or spine. After his condition was stabilized, Schumacher’s wife, Cara, had him transferred to OrthoIndy in Indianapolis where a team of specialists treat race car injuries. Tim Weber, Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon, treated Schumacher for his broken ankle, realigning the bone and fixing it in place so that it would heal properly.

Even in severe pain, the only thing Schumacher wanted to do was race again. But as his bones healed, he was still beset with debilitating headaches and dizziness. His doctors had no idea what was causing his pain. He also complained of discomfort in his neck, and his middle and lower back. He decided to consult with chiropractor Marshall Dickholtz, DC, a Board Certified NUCCA Physician at HealthSmart in Northbrook, IL.

Dr. Dickholtz said, “What we found with him was that his body was leaning off to the left and one hip was actually four degrees lower on one side.” After a simple chiropractic adjustment, repeated over several visits, Schumacher felt like his old self again. He said, “It was amazing. It’s one of those things where I sat up. Everything was gone. No pain. Color was back in my face, and I thought to myself, ‘It’s like magic’.”

Only one month after his leg cast came off, Schumacher was racing again. He said, “I love what I do.” Within four years, he was once again a champion of his sport.

Contact Dr. Nicholas Carlisle – Atlanta Chiropractor at (404) 316-1190 (Buckhead) or (404) 781-2800 (Southwest Atlanta) for your appointment.

%d bloggers like this: