Relationship between Toe Off & Shin Splints?
Patients who lack toe off are missing out on an essential part of their gait cycle.
The Tibialis Anterior (TA) as you know lifts and inverts the foot. Dorsiflexion is essential to clear the ground in gait, and the demand for dorsiflexion increases when the hip and knee do not flex… due to the contralateral leg not toeing off.
Consider parkinsonian shuffling gait, little hip or knee flexion is needed as stride length is short and the body is kept tall.
When we ‘add’ toe off in gait, we lengthen the stride + produce hip and knee flexion.
When we skip this phase, the TA becomes over worked as:
1) Its activation frequency increases.
2) Dorsiflexion ROM demands increase.
3) Plantarflexion which will allow for some relaxation of TA is lost.
Overactivity of the TA is linked to shin splints