unknown leg pain

Just wondering if anyone is able to help. When I push off from my toes I get a shooting pain up the side of my leg. I can heel strike, squat, lunge etc but as soon as I run and push off I get the pain. Starts off as a shooting pain with every push but if I try and push through it it becomes a constant pain and I can still feel it after I've finished running. I've taken time off running and had a sports massage, stretched, foam rolled but it seems to come back. I first felt it after doing a hill sprint session around 5 weeks ago. Took 3 weeks off and it felt like it was gone, completed a 1 mile jog it was fine, few days later did a 2 mile jog and it came back. Got a doctors appointment booked for later but they don't seem to be a lot of help. Sorry for the essay lol thanks


  • Hey Lloyd, you say the pain is in the side of your leg. Whereabouts? Calf, thigh, ITB?
  • Hello Tom, in between my calf muscle and shin bone, but it feels like its right deep inside of the leg
  • Could be a calf strain, that could happen as a result of a hill sprint session and would hurt as the calf contracts when you push off.

    It will need strengthening to stop the pain returning when you run.
    Try doing calf raises. If comfortable just on your weaker leg around 10-15 reps 3 sets. If it hurts to do this start on both legs.

    Your aim would be to work up to 15-25 reps, 3 sets every other day.
    Compare how many calf raises you can do with your good leg. Strengthen until they are the same.

    When you return to running go at a slow pace, keep the stride length short and dont push through pain. Avoid hill and speed work until it feels 100%.

    Hope that helps
  • It sounds to me like medial shin splints- which is an inflammation of tibialis posterior from the description of painful site and symptoms. This is a very difficult area to stretch and foam roll which is why this has not been effective to date. If inflammed- it is painful when you toe off.
    You will respond to deep sports massage and having your gait analysed to ensure you are not overpronating. also have a look at your shoes and take advice if necessary.
  • I'm pretty good at calf raises and can do around 30 on each leg so I don't think I've got weak calfs.
    I'm seeing my physio again tomorrow so should get a deep tissue massage again, I do find the pain does ease up around 24 hours after I have had one. Hopefully going to get my gait looked at this weekend.
    Thankyou both for the help and adive.
    I've got my Potential Royal Marine Course on the 1st-4th May and need to be back running properly in 3 weeks time at the latest. Do you think this is possible?
  • If you can do 30 single leg calf raises then that makes it unlikely to be the calf! In which case Samuam is probably right with the medial shin splints.

    You might be able to get back running in 3 weeks for your course but best to ask your Physio as they've actually assessed you. Hard to tell without examining you!

    Good luck
  • Are medial shin splints worse than normal shin splints? Or pretty much the same?
    Haha good point, ill ask tomorrow!
    Thankyou for all of your help I appreciate it
  • I don't like to assume anything here so I wont but reading what you have written, it sounds identitcal to the symptoms I had- does it hurt on a spot or few spots when you press? (try lots of little presses with the side of your thumb running up and down the area on your calf) if you can pick up a single spot or few spots, does it move day to day or stay put?

    I had what the physios though was me being pathetic, actually turned out to be quite a pronounced tibial stress fracture! It hurt to run, went away after about 5 mins then came shouting back at me 10 minutes later and much louder then before. The reason for this is the endorphines kick in when you begin to run and they hide the pain from the SF. But as you continue on the endorphines reduce a little and the SF gets that bit worse so it suddenly comes back to let you know you need to stop.

    The best way to get this sorted medically is to go to your doctor and get a scan- and MRI may show something up but I had to get a nuclear bone scan done which is far more expensive and long and detailed, the doctor/specialist had wanted to do this (I really didn't want nuclear material put inside me, not even a little bit!) because my MRI had no results- there was apparently so much swelling they couldn't see anything at all. So by all means get a scan if thats what you feel you need but the advice will be the same whatever. Physio help is likely to be about building the muscles around the area so it doesn't take the strain so much. You may have strong calves but there are more to your calves and lower legs then the gasteronemus muscle! The only real thing you can do before that though is rest. If you eat well, take it easy and careful not to add any impact, it took me about 4-6 months to get over it in total and thats with the odd "but it feels fine this morning, I'm gonna go running..." (ending in tears). The more you rest, the more you keep your nutrition at an optimal level, the sooner you will recover. 

    The idea is that you should be able to hop on the sore leg 20 times without any pain but I've not actually done this myself. The SF has taught me to keep the impact off if possible and I have totally changed my running style to adapt for it. (barefoot style/mid foot/forefoot strike where I used to be a maximum support heel strike runner). It all seems to have helped as the SF did used to fade and then come back again but so far hasn't come back- even if it were to come back I'd still be sold on the barefoot thing, I've never had so many months without calf/shin pain!

  • This is exactly what i have had and have now

    I had the same problem with my left calf, and now it's in my right calf

    MY symptoms are very similar to yours Jen, i often press my leg and feel pain, although i'm not sure if they are moves, I still don't know what it is really image But i've been running with it this time and it's not too bad to run with.. it's the morning after when you really feel it image
  • Yeah it does hurt when I push certain areas, like a shooting pain then goes again when I stop pushing. Saw my physio again today and she saids it could be from where I have had shin splints and got minor stress fractures its caused the tendon that runs next to the shin to get knotted or something. It was called something but I can't remember what. She worked the knot out, gave me some ultra sound and put this pulsing thing on it. Still sore now but she said when I go running tomorrow it should feel a lot better, so ill keep you all updated! If it works Luke do you want me to find the name of the injury out? Could help you out?
  • Yes please Lloyd,

    I actually spoke to someone this morning, some of you might of heard of her, anyway it was Sharon Gayter and she seems to think it's the muscles that help me to balance, so she suggested just strengthening the area by doing balance exercises, and using a 'wobble board'

    I'm still unconvinced but she told me that where i was saying was hurting there are no tendons! (so my doctor was wrong in saying my tendons were inflamed!) only the Achilles tendon which is the heel and above ( my problem is in the outside of my calf)

    Anyway i'm going to continue to ice the area every night for 10 minutes and start doing some balance strengthening exercises and see how it goes.

    I'm just still unsure can i run? or should i rest and strengthen or rest then strengthen?
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