What to do if you have shin pain

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

When beginning exercising for the first time or when resuming exercise with a new program, it is not uncommon to experience pain in the shins, particularly if jogging activities are included in your new training routine. While not uncommon, pain of any kind is the body’s way of telling you something is not right. It means that you need to address certain issues to reverse the condition and to prevent it getting worse. You should always obtain professional advice if concerned or if the pain persists for any length of time.

Pre disposing factors to developing shin pain:

· Excessive ankle pronation (rolling in)

· Training technique errors

· Shoe design

· Training surface

· Muscular dysfunction (lack of strength)

· Fatigue

· Lack of flexibility in calf muscles and/or tightness in calves

Shin pain of this type is usually felt on the medial (inside) border of the Tibia (shin bone). This is where the Soleus muscle (deep calf muscle) attaches to the bone and the pain is often caused by very tight calf muscles.

The following treatment plan can be implemented immediately and if there is no improvement or the pain persists then you should seek professional advice from a physiotherapist or other medical professional specialising in sporting injuries.

Treatment Plan

· Stop if it hurts

· Check footwear and ensure you are in the correct footwear for your foot type

· Consider purchasing new runners

· Ice following activity

· Anti-inflammatory cream / medication (always check with your doctor first)

· Calf massage and stretching

1. Self massage – any time you are seated in a chair or lying down, you have an opportunity to self massage your calfs. With your hands in a fist, use your knuckles to massage all over your calf as hard as you can bare.

2. Partner massage – if you can convince someone else to give you a massage, have them work on your calfs as often as you can.

3. Tennis ball massage – sitting on the ground with your legs out straight, place a tennis ball under your calfs and roll it around until you feel a sore spot. Hold that position for 30 seconds. Repeat on all the places you feel tightness/soreness.

4. Calf stretch – facing a wall or against a table, take one foot back as far as you can and push your heel into the ground. Keeping the heel on the ground, lean forward as far as possible and hold 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times every day.

Remember, most importantly make sure you get professional support from your health care practitioner.

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