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Shin Pain While Running or Walking

By Born Tough on

1. Do Your Shins Hurt from Running or Walking?

Shin splints are pain located in the tibia bone (lower leg). Shin splints occur due to inflammation and weakened tissues around the shin. Typically, pain associated with shin splints can be felt about two-thirds of the way down the tibia, right off the inside border of the bone in most cases. There are different stretching and strengthening exercises you can do to lessen the chances of injuring your shins.

1.1. Shin Splints from Running

Anyone who has ever had shin splints will agree that they are one of the most frustrating injuries since they prevent you from doing something as simple as running.

Shin splints are an overuse injury caused by tiny rips in the lower leg muscles in the majority of instances.Shin splints can occur when people begin a running programme to lose weight, increase fitness, or prepare for a competition.

Your legs sustain two to three times of your body weight as you run, and the muscles that lift your foot complete that move more than 1,500 times per mile. Over-pronation and jogging on hard surfaces, as well as worn-out shoes or a lack of cushioning, can all contribute to the causing shin splints.

1.2. Shin Splints from Walking

You tend to get shin splints if you overwork your shin muscles and put too much pressure on them. For example, if you are a beginner and have started walking at a casual pace, suddenly running across long distances may cause too much stress on your lower legs. You will experience shin cramps and soreness suddenly which can last for a few days after you start a walking or running routine.

2. Shin Pain or Shin Splints?

Shin splints are commonly associated with shin pain. However, shin pain can be caused by a variety of factors.

The inflammation of the tendons, muscles, and bone tissue around the tibia is known as medial tibial stress syndrome or shin splints. Pain caused by shin splints is described as either severe or dull and aching.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS),

"Although there are many other causes of shin pain, such as an injury, a bone bruise, or a stress fracture."

Some of the common symptoms and causes listed below are:

2.1. Symptoms

  • There is pain and tenderness in the tibia.
  • There may be lumps or bumps along the bones in chronic cases.
  • Swelling in the lower leg is a possibility.
  • There may be red spots on the skin around sore places in extreme cases.
  • When you stop exercising, the pain will go away at first, but if your condition worsens, the pain will become constant.
  • It's crucial to see a doctor about any pain because it could be a sign of something more serious.

2.2. Causes

  • Shin splints involve a number of factors.
  • Running, particularly up hills.
  • Walking too far.
  • Having flat feet or rigid arches.
  • Increasing the number of days you work out, the intensity of your training, or the distance you travel.
  • Exercising with a lot of pauses and starts, like dancing, gymnastics, or playing an intense sport.

2.3. Diagnosis

Though pain may be felt mainly in the shins, it is possible for it to be coming from somewhere else. For example, a number of separate nerves in the lower back can each cause pain in the shins if they become trapped or blocked (this is known as radicular pain), and isn't usually related to back pain.

In addition, the way the body is built can sometimes result in conflicting messages, such as pain felt in the shin that actually originated from another part of the body, such as the knee or ankle.

This is reliant on the diagnosis and the factors that led to the development of your shin pain. Patients are typically referred to treatment with a physiotherapist or osteopath who specializes in lower leg injuries.

3. Is it Normal to Have Shin Pain After Running or Walking?

According to Britt Marcussen, M.D., a senior physician at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine,

"Shin splints are one of the most prevalent overuse injuries among runners, and they are frequently the result of runners who are not in peak physical condition when they begin a strong training programm."

New runners may push their bodies to their limits by increasing the distance, speed, and frequency of their runs. Muscles that have not been properly prepared are more susceptible to tears and strains.

To avoid shin pain, follow these tips for running or walking:

  • Legs should be properly warmed up, especially if you plan on running at a higher pace.
  • Overtraining slows muscle recovery and increases the risk of shin pain and damage. Muscles can repair themselves if they have enough time between training sessions.
  • Running mileage should be chosen with enough time to train and prepare. Each week, increase your distance and time spent running by a maximum of 10%.
  • After a run, it is important to cool down and stretch to avoid stiffness and soreness.
  • Lower leg support can be improved by strengthening the supporting muscles and tendons in the upper legs and knees.
  • Cross training can help to improve supporting muscle groups and lower the risk of injury.
  • A nutritious, well-balanced diet can help to promote recovery. Muscle recovery can be accelerated by providing nutrients to the muscles.

3.1. Frequently asked questions

Here, I have classified/arranged the most frequently asked questions related to shin pain while running, their potential symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Frequently asked questions

3.2. Knee and Shin Pain Running or Walking

The knee is the body's strongest weight-bearing joint. The fibula (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone) combine to form the knee joint (shinbone).

Causes

Shin splints develop as a result of excessive activity or suddenly increasing training. Most of the time, the activity is a high-impact, repetitive lower-leg workout.

Treatment

  • Wear shoes that provide enough arch and heel support.
  • Shock-absorbent soles should be worn.
  • Running out on hard or rough surfaces should be avoided.
  • Before you exercise, make sure you stretch properly.
  • Strength exercises, particularly toe exercises that strengthen the calf muscles, should be practiced.
  • All muscle groups in the shins should be strengthened.

3.3. Tibia Pain Running or Walking

The tibia is a shin bone that is the larger of the two bones located in the lower leg.

The tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior are the two most important muscle groups in the lower leg.

Anterior Tibialis Shin Pain Running or Walking

Frontal shin pain runs down the tibia and comes to rest an inch or two above the ankle joint.

Posterior Tibialis Shin Pain Running or Walking

A posterior shin pain that runs along the inside area of your lower leg is typically caused by strained muscles that run behind your tibia.

Tibia Pain Running or Walking

Causes

Small tears in the lower leg muscles can cause injury. Over-pronation and jogging on hard surfaces, as well as worn-out shoes or a lack of cushioning, can also contribute to the condition.

The majority of injuries to the soft tissue occur because the muscles are too weak and too sore to exert themselves, and as you increase your mileage, the muscles begin to break down even further.

Treatment

  • Strengthening activities should be practiced.
  • To relieve discomfort and swelling, apply ice to your shin. Do it for two to three days, or until the discomfort is gone, for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours.
  • Have enough rest.

3.4. Calf and Shin Pain Running or Walking

The calf muscle is located behind the shin bone on the rear of your lower leg. It is made up of three muscles. The muscles work together to allow you to walk, run, jump, stand on your toes, and flex your foot.

Causes

Calf and shin pain are caused by strained and torn tendons due to too much stress being placed on weary or inflexible calf muscles. Jumping higher than normal is another cause of torn tissues in your muscles since all of your body weight comes down on your knees and ankles every time you jump.

Treatment

  • Allow your body to rest. It will take some time to heal.
  • Do toe exercises that strengthen the calf muscles.
  • Insoles or orthotics can be used in your shoes.
  • If necessary, take anti-inflammatory pain relievers.

3.5. Ankle and Shin Pain Running or Walking

The ankle is a large joint that consists of three bones: The shin bone is a bone in the lower leg (tibia), the thinner bone that runs beside the shin bone (fibula), and the bone in the foot that is higher than the heel bone (talus).

Causes

Ankle and shin pain are common after strenuous exercise, sports, or other repetitive activities. The muscles, tendons, and thin layer of tissue that covers the shin bones might become inflamed as a result of this repetitive motion.

Treatment

  • Nerve pressure is one of the most common causes of leg and foot numbness, usually improving with rest.
  • Rest.
  • Ice or heat packs.
  • Massages and exercises.

3.6. Burning Shin Pain

Shin splints often cause pain that has a burning and sharp sensation in both of the lower legs, especially on the sides of your shin bones. And the pain can get worse when you put pressure on the sore areas.

Treatment

Read the linked article for treating burning shin pain

3.7. Bruised Shins from Running

Bruised shins can be an indication of inflammation and internal bleeding which is a condition that the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons refer to as "chronic compartment syndrome."

Treatment

  • Bruised shins can be prevented by following the correct running guidelines.
  • Use RICE technique.
  • If your shins are not getting better during the recovery period, consult a physical therapist.

3.8. Shin Splints Keep Coming Back

The reason why shin splints keep coming back is due to improper treatment. When the shin splints are not treated properly, the symptoms tend to return.

Treatment

  • Take a break from physical activities.
  • Eat foods which are rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients.
  • Try home remedies.

3.9. Itchy Shins at Night

Itchy shins can be caused by two reasons. Either you are taking excessively hot showers which trigger dry skin or It can be a sign of poor blood circulation.

Treatment

  • Apply essential oils
  • Avoid hot showers.
  • Consult a healthcare provider to diagnose your condition.

4. Takeaways

Don't ignore shin pain. If you are feeling pain in the shin muscles, this is most likely an indication that you condition can get worse if not taken care of. You will get back on your feet in no time after some relaxation and stretching.