Help... I don't want to give up running!!!

Hi all,

 I've got a question about lower shin pain... Now I've had a look through a few of the threads on here and most of them seem to be talking about shin splints... I've had shin splints before and this isn't the same.

A few months ago I finished a run and experienced pain in my lower shin on my right leg, probably about 2/3 inches above my ankle. The pain is very localised and quite acute. If I run my fingers down my shin bone I can feel a small lump under the skin where the pain is. When it first occured the area was quite swollen, but would settle within a week. I laid off the running and stuck to the cross-trainer, rowing machine etc. The pain eventually eased and I attempted running again only for the pain to come back. I've been round this loop of resting and attempting to run again several times only to end up with the pain re-occuring.

I've seen a physio and GP with no real solution. I've also had an x-ray, which ruled out a stress fracture.

 Can anyone offer any advice???

 Many thanks,



  • What are you wearing on your feet to run in?  Have you been fitted at a proper running shop for the right trainers for your gait. If your running in a pair of trainers you picked because of the colour 6 years ago....we may have found the say it's not shin splints but....
  • Thanks for the reply flat footed...

     I've always been to running shops for my trainers... Runners Needs, Sweatshop... etc. I over pronate slightly so I have trainers that correct this.

    I've had shin splints before where the pain is behind the shin bone and will pass with a few days rest. This is definitely different. Part of me wishes it was shin splints as I know that with a couple of days rest it will ease.

  • Ok,how many miles have you done in the current pair, could it be they have lost there support.....Have you upped your mileage or changed anything in your training recently??

  • Up to the point I had the injury I had done approx 100miles in my trainers, so not that many. I was running about 15miles a week. On the day I had the injury I had only done a short run of about 3miles.

    When the pain eases and I feel all is ok I'll start to do a few miles on the treadmill as there is a bit of spring on the treadmill thus easing the impact. I then transfer back to the road for a run. I don't really feel any pain when I'm running, it's once I stop that it will begin to ache. It will sometimes ache when I'm just sitting down.

  • Maybe try cross-train/cycle or swimming for a while, just to give it a complete break...unless you are aiming at a spring marathon and judging from your mileage your not..i would have an extended rest and it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
  • Thanks... maybe an extended rest is the answer. I've laid off the running for about a month, but maybe I am under estimating the injury.

    Thanks for your advice.

  • No worries...can't really say i have helped but sometimes you know what you need to do but need someone else to tell you to do it!!

    Best of luck

  • My shin splints entailed an 18 week break from running and when I returned to running I started really slowly and for a tiny amount of time - 30 seconds running going up 10 seconds a week...  Once I hit the minute mark I was allowed to walk run 30 secs running 4 minutes walking 4 times.  It was a killer to not be allowed to run 'properly but it eased me back in.

     Also what stretched did you physio give you?  Are you doing them?

    I was having to warm the shins with hot water bottles evenly 4 times a day (and yes I did this at work!) and do all my exercises to correct the mucsle imbalance - it realy helped.

  • Not to worry you Paul - but stress fractures generally cannot be diagnosed by X-ray.  They only show on an x-ray when they have begun to heal and it is the new bone growth that shows them.  The bone only starts to heal if you rest completely.  Without that you cannot spot them easily especially if it is not a specialist who is reading the X-ray.   I was told I didn't have a stress fracture by A & E but on being referred to a specialist and having an MRI - I did have one which showed up on an MRI scan.

    Your pain sounds like mine when I had a SF to my fibula.  The pain was 2 inches above my ankle.  I had some swelling around my ankle.  It didn't hurt to hop on the affected leg as the fibula is a non-weight bearing bone.  Again, no pain on running but dull ache after.  I'm not diagnosing you but just a thought......

  • It would be interesting to know when you had the Xray. As Tigerlily says it may not have shown the stress fracture. Is the lump hard? If you had an Xray now you might find the small lump is a result of the bone trying to heal over a period which would be truely diagnostic.
  • Your symptoms sound so similar to mine- but one thing, not sure if its the inside or outside of your calf. For me my pain was all on the inside of my calf (or otherwise known as the posterior).

    I would advise first googling "posterior tibial pain" to see if we are talking about the same things.

    The first time I had this pain on the right leg it was after boosting up my training and pushing things maybe too far. Also getting a new and perhaps ill fitting pair of trainers from TK Maxx which were probably old and the cushioning depleted as they do when they are kept in storeage.

    I tried to ignore it, it got worse. Someone advised rice and massage so I tried, it turned into a long bruise which faded after a week but looked odd, caused more pain so I didn't try this again. Instead I saw a doctor who couldn't work out what it was, sent me for an xray, said it was not a fracture and I assumed I must be being OTT so I kept on running and tried to run through the pain. I worked out that any impact bar walking at a snails pace hurt like hell. A physio I saw was also clueless, asked me to hop to build up muscle to help but offered no diagnosis and no real solution.

    It got to the point where I could only run for 1-5 mins and then had to stop, catch my pain threshold and then restart again. Luckily by chance I sprained my ankle, I stopped running for a good few months. I did other forms of exercise as I couldn't take any impact without pain. I bought a new pair of trainers (same model as before just newer) and began to run again= no pain!

    I then assumed I was cured, kept on running and was so happy! Then Xmas came and I went running in the snow, completely changed the way I ran so as not to slip. I only did half an hour, went home spent the rest of Xmas day walking from family member to family member in non supportive footwear, didn't rest as I should have done, didn't even warm up before my run.

    I went back to the gym and the pain had returned but in the other leg, I researched into it a bit this time and worked out I had posterial tibial pain, caused by....fallen arches!

     I have been refered to a different physio this time, she guessed it straight off! Taped me up, showed me the muscle in my feet was not even present- the arches had fallen and I had to get the muscle in the tibia which had been yanked on by the arches collapsing, to repair and then build up the muscle in the arch so the tibial would not be yanked on again.

    I was recommended a pair of orthopedic insoles which I have too see an orthopedic person about next week (waiting list was long!) but you can get these privatly for around £30 from a physio too if you have the money. I am told they will release the pressure on the tibia so it can repair better.

    I was also told to go back to running slowly, I used to do 60-90minute shots and have been told 1-5 mins at a time max and build up slowly. Not happy about that but am happy I have an understanding of what the problem is so I can go back running.

    Its maybe an idea to see if you can speak to a physio, see what they say. It could be shin splints- where the muscle comes away from the bone or tears at it like what I maybe had or was edging on and this can eventually cause a stress fracture which you don't want as these will take longer to repair and could prevent you from not just running.

  • This sounds very like the problem I'm currently experiencing. I have a small painful point on the inside of my shin bone a couple of inches above the ankle. There is a small gristly lump there, which is tender to the touch. I went to see a physio, who told me it was medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). The lump may be scar tissue and should pass. I was given some exercises to strenghten / rebalance both legs. I've had this issue since middle of December and it keeps coming back. Good luck

  • Look into chi-running.  It solved all my shin and IT band problems in 2007 and I haven't looked back since.  If you are in the North there is a fab guy called Nick constantine who does one day workshops for £70 ( - and he's a bloody nice bloke too. I went for a day's review last weekend with him. He also spent a day with my husband who was a classic heavy footed heel striker and the change has been tremendous (never mind the increase in speed which is really annoyingimage  )

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