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3524 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2014 10:31 PM by JoaneEvans
MicahDubose Rookie 2 posts since
Oct 5, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 7, 2013 9:05 PM

Shin pain while running

Hi everyone I started running a few months ago and have discovered that I really enjoy it and have even completed four 5k races. However, I have horrible shin calf and ankle pain while running. I stretch before I wear compression calf sleeves while running and after my run and take ibuprofen before and after but still cannot get relief. It starts as soon as I start running and feels like someone is hitting my legs with a 2x4. I would like to be able to improve my time and distance but can't as long as I have pain like this. Today I ran my fourth race and had the same problems during the run and in the hours after the pain has got ton worse. My ankle is hurting like I twisted it and I am limping and my shins feel like they are bruised and hurt to the touch. Is anyone farm iliac with these problems that can offer advice on what may be the cause and a possible remedy? I greatly appreciate any and all feedback :)

  • shipo Legend 499 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 5, 2014 6:11 PM (in response to MicahDubose)
    Re: Shin pain while running

    A few comments:

    • First and foremost, it sounds like you're suffering from what I call TFFFS (Too Far, too Fast, too Frequently, too Soon).  The issue here is that the muscular and the cardiovascular systems develop at a faster pace than do bones, joints, ligaments and tendons,   The pain in your lower legs is a very common malady for folks relatively new to running and a pretty sure sign of TFFFS.
    • Second, stretch during (if necessary) and after your run, science has proven quite convincingly that stretching prior to a run is counterproductive.
    • Third, using NSAIDs like Ibuprofen can make things worse, much-much worse.


    Long story short, were I your coach I'd tell you to take several weeks off, and then to start your running again at a vastly reduced paced, say no faster than two minutes per mile slower than your current pace.  When you get to the point where you can run slow for a few miles with no pain, then instead of going faster, go further, and when you've reached six miles or better per slow run, then, and only then, should you think about gradually increasing your pace.


    A word of caution: I've had shin splints (which is what I suspect you're suffering from), and I've known lots of other runners who've had them as well, and it seems that once you've gotten them, you are much more susceptible to getting them again.  The only way I was able to get past this issue was to take a good long while off, like several months, and then to build my mileage base up very-very slowly.  Maybe it's just me, but I have over 1,500 miles logged since I restarted my running in mid-April, and I'm still not sure I'm ready for upping my training pace.


    Message was edited by: Dale Shipman -- Unboogered the description of TFFFS.

    Fat old man PRs:

    • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
    • 2-mile: 13:49
    • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
    • 5-Mile: 37:24
    • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
    • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
    • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 8, 2013 1:15 PM (in response to MicahDubose)
    Shin pain while running

    Lower leg pain is not unusual in new runners and has several causes. Knowing details about your running, when you started, how you've progressed, and your routine would help in figuring out what is going on.


    - shin splints: Basically soreness caused by overuse of the shin muscles. This usually starts 1/2 mile to a mile into a run and does not usually involve ankle and calf. Except if the shins are really bad, other parts of the lower leg may be over-stressed as a result. Stop running for a couple weeks, do exercises to strengthen the shins and lower legs, then resume at lower intensity (speed) and shorter distances.  It is possible this is what's going on, though you may be past this point and into stress fracture. The compression sleeves offer some support, but probably not enough to matter.  That much ibuprofen is likely a bad idea, since it can have other effects (bleeding) that may be making the problem worse.  Ice the first few hours after running, rather than ibuprofen. And none before the run.


    - stress fracture: Micro-fractures of the bones, again due to overuse and stress that the bones aren't up to dealing with. Pain can start immediately on exercise and will often continue during daily life. Sometimes result from untreated shin splints. Can be diagnosed by MRI or bone scan.  If the fractures are old enough (several weeks), an x-ray may show new bone forming as part of the healing process.  This means a visit to the doctor.  And no running for 6 to 8 weeks (minimum), followed by a gradual resumption of running. It's possible this is where you're at, based on your symptoms, though it is uncommon in both legs at the same time..  If left untreated can result in a full, actual fracture.


    - compartment syndrome: "Compartments" in the muscles develop pressure as you run and normally expand some to accomodate the increase. In compartment syndrome, they don't expand, causing pain.  This usually starts when you start exercising and stops when you stop and the pressure subsides.  There are non-surgical treatments - google "compartment syndrome".  Surgical treatments involve cuttting the fascia around the muscles to allow the pressure to be relieved.  I had a friend who had the surgery and it was a long and rocky road.


    Good luck.


  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 8, 2013 1:26 PM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Shin pain while running

    This thread is screwed up somehow. It showed zero replies (now one), even though there are two (now three).  Sometimes I can see the replies, sometimes I cannot.  Hopefully you can see them all.


  • KeithAHauser Amateur 20 posts since
    Oct 25, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 3, 2014 9:15 AM (in response to MicahDubose)
    Shin pain while running

    I agree with the others: I had the same problems at the beginning (and am now in my 38th year of running!). Your bones will hurt from too much pounding until they have built themselves up to handle this new load. That means, reduce your running to an amount you can handle, and make sure your shoe soles are padded enough. I got rid of my pains by getting decent shoes instead of the thin tennis shoes I'd been using.

    I travel a lot with my job, and run everywhere I go. Visit my blog, with running routes in cities all over the world --: images, maps and detailed descriptions:

  • JaneBrown4 Rookie 2 posts since
    Sep 25, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 5, 2014 6:03 PM (in response to MicahDubose)
    Shin pain while running

    I have to tell you that it's been my experience that shin pain is defnietly from doing too much, too fast and maybe even too far too soon ...

    I was doing alot of running at races, and it caught up to me and my shins were very sore ... I started doing some exercises in the gym, and  toe taps and using a foam roller. All of these are things you can consdier to help ease the pain and help your legs heal faster.  Then when you are ready to head back out .. ease into it ... try to have patience with your running.  Check out youtube, type in shin splints and there are some videos that you can watch that will show you some things you can do.

    good luck.

  • JoaneEvans Amateur 14 posts since
    Nov 23, 2014
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 2, 2014 10:31 PM (in response to MicahDubose)
    Shin pain while running

    Aching shins is a very common complaint for new walkers. It can also be a problem for walkers increasing their speed or distance. Shin pain (generally referred to as shin splints) is caused from too much stress on weak shin muscles. This pain may be caused by many things including shoes with too high a heel or inflexible sole, weak shins or calves, tight shins or calves, striding out too far in front of your body, increasing speed or distance too rapidly, muscle imbalances or gait problems. check this Podcast It might help you with that /

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