Shin Pain

Whats the best place to start to get rid of shin pain?

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17/02/2009 at 13:17

I know this has been covered many times before but....shin splints.

I've been running for many years and have even completed a couple of marathons. However, I have always suffered with pain on the inside of my shin bones about halfway up. This has recently resurfaced and I'm keen to get to the bottom of it.

I have previously seen a podiatrist and now use custom made orthotics which haven't cured it. I have also seen physiotherapists to no avail. At the moment I'm getting by on a combination of ibuprofen and self massage.

 I over-pronate and am a fairly heavy heel-striker. i haven't suddenly increased my mileage either.

So, forumistas....what is the best place to start to get rid of the pain? Is it technique? Should I try to adopt a more mid-foot strike? Or should I get a motion-control shoe such as the Brooks Beast (I currently use a more stabilty shoe of Asics 1130)? From what I can gather using the latter might prevent the former?


17/02/2009 at 14:04
Shin splints seems to be a function of footwear (model and age), more so than most other conditions (and yes, gait is important too). Whether a bricky-style control shoe will do it or a less controlled one with a bit more cushioning is anyone's guess. Well, I couldn't guess anyway! But anyway, if you've been through all that palaver and not yet tried switching, it's got to be worth a go, hasn't it? I tend to shy away from excessive control features as a general rule, for what it's worth.

I'd also vote for going easy on the heel striking (first move would be shorter strides, higher cadence), though that can open you up to a different set of problems. Whether to do that at the same time as changing your shoes is another complicated question!
Edited: 17/02/2009 at 14:06
17/02/2009 at 23:22

Thanks Swerve. Will try new shoes, after a bit of gait analysis so that I can see what the experts say. Like you say, it should be worth a go.

15/10/2009 at 10:03

 Hi , this is my first post so please be ... i have been running for a few months now and i am up to 5 miles (2 x 4m, plus 1 x 5m plus the occational game of golf/ week), but i have a similar pain associated with my mid shin, during my most recent run - monday i felt pain in my mid shin - sort of chronic pain. after i finished my run and the subsequent days. on applying pressure to the area (either side , almost to the rear of the bone) the area felt like it was sore and lightly bruised.

I hit the ground quite hard,so i changed my running shoes from nike citius (reccommended by a running shop) and then  recently had my gait analysed and i am now using a pair of asics GT2140, these are the first pair of "proper " running shoes i have had, but the shin pain seems to flare-up  every six weeks as i have expirienced this pain before. My calves are pretty big - compared to my legs and maybe that is a factor?

The pain affected my run time , but after 3 days of rest i feel fine and i am ready  to run again, the pain concerns me  but do not want to reduce my running - as i am really starting to enjoy it. 

I have considered compression clothing, maybe my large calves are being jarred by my running style? would compression  clothing help me?

16/10/2009 at 11:52
just left a message with mr puffy the thread above i have the same problem ive also been told this can come and go, have a read
PloddingOn    pirate
16/10/2009 at 12:14
Amputate from the neck
16/10/2009 at 12:26
thats really helpful thanks!
21/10/2009 at 12:33
'Shin splints' is a very generic term for pain in the shins. However, it is very often caused by impact and so extra cushioning in shoes can greatly reduce the risk. If you already have decent shoes and it comes on then it is probably time to replace the shoes that once were good for you. Shin pain can sometimes also be as a result of over pronation so when buyin new shoes it is well worth having a gait analysis.
21/10/2009 at 12:42
thanks for the advice, my shoes were bought after i had my gait analysed, after some prodding i have now realised the pain /discomfort is from the inside of my lower leg, under the calf muscle and down to the ankle  and i would describe the soreness as being more  to the side of the shin and its connective tissue there is no muscle - not the shin itself
22/10/2009 at 00:56

Hello Neil Fryer and Livingboy.  I was just looking for some advise myself for shin splints, when i came across your posts.  I have the same problem.  I've been running for about 18mths now and never had any injuries until 3wks ago. 

At first, it ached after a run, never during.  Feeling bruised when pressed. Now, on my latest run this week, the ache was with me throughout the duration of my run.  Its inside, lower mid calve and not the muscle.  And on that latest run, its actually moving round to the back of my calve area.

All i do is - massage area, then apply ice.  Take paracetamol / aspirin to reduce the inflammation.  Reduce running (which is hard to do)

Could it be that you have increased your mileage recently?  Or have been doing speedwork, like i have, which i think is my problem.

But I am overdue for new shoes, so maybe thats the answer for me.

22/10/2009 at 10:16

Hi wolfie, i have just replaced my shoes, but i found Ibuprofen and diclofenac excellent for reducing inflammation and the pain, i am going to reduce the amount of hills, which is difficult in derbyshire, i can still feel some soreness, when  i take a beak from medication, so i am having a rest for another week.

 As for the cause , i am unsure, maybe, over-use/ training? bad running style? new trainers that are corrective, too much hill work or a combination of all these?

 i am just annoyed with myself that it has happened when i feel i have made some progression.

22/10/2009 at 11:57
It is such an annoying problem.
I have a new pair of Brooks Beasts to replace my current Beasts.
I have not run for 5 days but the pain is as bad as ever.
I have taken pain killers - but they tend to mask the problem and to be honest i want to know what is going on.
Not running is driving me nuts
22/10/2009 at 12:02
sounds familiar! had a game of golf last Sat , even that hurt, just walking....
22/10/2009 at 12:05
I would love to get some medical experts to give my running a full MOT - eveything from my hair to my shoes - but I simply cannot afford the fees - its hard enough saving for decent shoes. Sorry to be a forum moany git - but i need to get it off my chest. My shins suck.
22/10/2009 at 13:36
thats is how i feel about my running.... i know i run like a spaz... but what is the proper way to run?
22/10/2009 at 17:39

Get yourself to a Sports therapist (such as myself!!!).. and get yor soleus stripped off the back of the tibia.. I guarantee youwill see reductions in pain and enhanced performance!

 I will warn you, this treatment is painful as the therapist will sink deep through the Gastroc (calf) muscles to get to the soleus...


22/10/2009 at 21:34

What are you on about Stuart ness? - you mean, deep massage?

I went for my long run today.  I did go slower than normal.  But I found, the shorter i did my strides, the better for my calf problem.

After this afternoons long run, i massaged the area for 15mins (which did hurt at bit) , then applyed ice for 15mins, then took paracetamol. Now its 9pm and my leg feels fine!  Amazing! ... Is this going to last?  i ask myself.

Today, i went out to buy a calf support to wear on my sessions.  Its only from the Poundshop, but i think it'll be ok and do the job.  Why pay out for fancy compression stuff when this should do the same thing.

One important thing is - knowing the difference between ache and pain.  You should never run through pain, or face permanent damage.  Never mask pain through tablets (unless your professional and your career depended on it).  I just take painkillers after a run, just to reduce swelling.

I keep you all posted on how I'm doing and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this problem.

27/10/2009 at 15:40

Update....  had my gait analysed again, and after looking at my instep , i was advised that the "support" from the asics was probably at the root of the problem.

 I have exchanged my asics GT 2140 for a nice neutral pair of Brooks with a pair of running socks as by way of an apology - Thanks Sutton Runner! 

 Tried on a pair of Asics -no , mizuno - still felt like too much support and then finally the Brooks, had a nice easy 1 mile run last night, that nice and i will be moving up to 2 miles next week after two more 1 mile runs, hopefully i will be up to 5 miles by mid / late november.

Stuart Ness what do you mean? that sounds like surgery to me ....

01/01/2010 at 18:34

UPDATE.      Horray! my shin pain has gone completely..... (For now!??!).

No fancy Sports Therapist involved.

I cut down my running quite alot, which I think is the main answer.  When I did run, I wore my calf support which helped.  Doing the massage myself, deeply with my thumbs on my shin area helped aswell.  Also, I did more cross-training.  Sooo pleased I didn't get a VLM place this year, those extra training miles is not what I need.

New year, new training plan, which includes more cross-training.  Got a HM in March, I expected PB, so I'll have to build up the miles again slowly.  Still wearing my old trainers which will be retired very, very soon.  I hope to keep the problem down, at the first sign of ache, I'll wear my calf support or just cut down.  Doing loads and loads of miles isn't necessary.

I'll update again in March maybe, if i remember.

03/01/2010 at 11:16

Hi. I have been reading this discussion and so pleased you are cured Wolfie!

I am suffering from what I assume is shin splints, having just raised my mileage from 4-5 to 7-8miles at a time and am in training for my first HM in March. This is also after I have had my gait analysed and 'prescribed' a pair of Brookes Beast trainers. I am a bit of a flat footed slapper runner so my running technique is probably poor as well. Nightmare!

 I am going to try cross training and a calf support but am intrigued by your self massage. Can you give a fuller decsription of the technique you used? Might get the wife to help....!!

 Any advice gratefully received.

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