Shin Pain… By Margot Manning (intraining Podiatrist)
A preventable and manageable injury. Common causes include excessive or rapid rotation of the leg bone (tibia), and muscle fatigue.
Everyone’s foot and leg have their own ideal movement path, which should be complemented by running shoe choice. If the shoes offer too much, or not enough support, then excessive rotational forces occur and the surrounding muscles and connective tissues are strained beyond their normal range. This repetitive tension results in microtrauma and pain for the runner.
Repetitive and excessive forces on the tibia most commonly occur from overpronation of the foot. Ensuring your shoes are suited to your gait pattern and provide appropriate control is the easiest step to preventing this mechanism of injury. Some people have more unusual biomechanics that can not be controlled with footwear alone and requires more tweaking to the shoes or insoles.
Shin pain from muscle fatigue occurs because the foot loses the ability to transition from initial foot strike to toe-off. Slapping typically occurs with forefoot loading because the muscle contractions are no longer coordinated with the movement. Downhill running, increased training load, and overstriding are contributing factors. The best way to reduce the risk of shin pain from this is to be aware of your foot strike and hip position. Feeling and listening to your footfall and focusing on your hip position and being tall (rather than slumping) can help reduce the chance of shin pain.
Shin pain can be preventable in most cases by reviewing footwear, training, and running form. If you are experiencing shin pain regularly, or as a chronic or recurring injury, then it is worth seeing one of the intraining podiatrists who specialise in running injuries to manage pain and reduce the risk of repetitive injury.
If you have a running injury causing you discomfort, visit the intraining Running Injury Clinic. Click here to make an appointment online or call us on 07 3367 3088 to speak with one of our friendly staff.