T Nation

Ultrasnd, EMS,& Posterior Shin Splints

I have had chronic tibialis posterior tendonitis in both legs for four months, and have been out of training (I am a sprinter) for six weeks now…

However, my condition has not improved at all in the last four weeks. It feels like it’s about 50% healed, and the healing proccess seems to be arrested at this point. Physical therapy has been mostly unhelpful and I have stopped going.

I want to try to improve blood flow to the area passively (without stressing the injured tendon with exercises). I have tried showering the affected area with hot water, but the heat doesn’t seem to penetrate deep enough.

Thus, my thoughts at this point are ULTRASOUND and EMS. These are the only aspect of physical therapy that did seem helpful, but the limitations on durations and frequency of these treatments prevented me from recieving much benefit as I was only able to schedule appointments once or twice per week week.

So, I am willing to purchase either an ultrasound unit or an EMS unit, or both if it can be done for under $200 (which I doubt).

This is where the knowledge and expertise of the congregation here come in. My questions are:

  1. Which modality would be superior for expediating the healing of my damaged tibialis posterior tendons? Note that I am not interested in using EMS for strengthening purposes- I just want to improve blood flow to the injury site.

  2. What specifications in machines of both types (particularly EMS) should I look for, given a spending cap of $200? Again, just for the purpose of improving blood flow, not for performance enhancement.

  3. Where can I get these machines without a prescription?

  4. I found a cheap, generic 1-3 MHz ultrasound unit on ebay for $150:

Would this be useful? There are more like it available if I don’t snatch this one within the 12 hours left on the auction.

PLEASE HELP!!! My legs are desperate.

Thanks in advance…

I have been a therapist for over ten years and I would not recommend buying either of those machines. You do need training to use them and in my opinion, they don’t work very well anyway. They are also expensive. They may give you short term relief, but will not cure the problem. If you have been going to a PT and aren’t getting results, go to a different one. If you went to a strength coach, mechanic, or piano tuner and they didn’t get the job done, you would go somewhere else right? Well, if you go to the doctor, chiro, or PT and you aren’t getting results, go to a different one. Just because a person has the proper initials behind his/her name does not indicate a high level of skill, just that they passed the test to get the initials.

I have said this on many different posts, but I would find a Muscle Activation Techniques practitioner in your area. It is the best tool I have come across for treating injuries. You could also try ART, it is good as well but MAT is my preference. You can go to www.muscleactivation.com to find a practitioner in your state. Once again, you may have to shop around to find someone with good skills.

Definatly look for someone else like painless suggested. If you do look into MAT, make sure you’re getting a PT who’s doing it or at least a massage therapist. Don’t go to any personal trainers, sometimes these techniques will teach anyone and let them loose and a personal trainer certainly shouldn’t be doing this. As far as a heat source, an old standby of mine has always been a sock full of rice (uncooked) and microwave it for 1.5-2 mins and use that. It’s a pretty good heat source and is way better than a hot shower.