Shin pain

Back in March I put running on the backburner due to a pain in my shin. It felt like a shooting pain at a particular point on the shin, so I assumed it was a stress fracture.

Fast forward to now and the pain now feels almost like bubbling under the shin. This moves around at different points in the shin. I can run 1km on the treadmill ok but anything on the road flares it up.

Does anyone know what I can do/what it could be? I am currently icing and massaging using Volatarol, but at a bit of a loose end otherwise as it doesn't seem to be getting overly better, despite me resting it. Shin splints can't last two months, can they?


  • Hi Owen,

    Shin pain is actually quite complex. It can be caused by a number of things.

    Does it hurt if you hop?

    Is it tender on one specific point on the bone if you feel with your fingers? Where is the pain exactly?

    This "bubbling" is it a physical bump you can feel? If so could be a fascial hernia (give it a google for a picture).

    Sorry for so many questions!

  • Hi Tim, thanks for the fast response.

    I can hop fine. That's what makes me think it's not a SF.

    The pain isn't on the bone per se, but very close - possibly tissue-related. And the bubbling is purely a pain, there is no physical evidence of it. It comes and goes during the day.

  • If impact isn't painful and there is no bony tenderness that makes a stress fracture less likely.

    Like I said this is complex, I'm trying to work through your symptoms to find out what's wrong. That's the best way to manage this. Without some kind of diagnosis you're just guessing when it comes to treatment.

    Is it mainly on the outside of the shin (e.g. Over Tibialis Anterior) or along the inside? Any pins and needles or numbness?

    Does it feel tight and almost like a cramp that continues as you run, but settles soon after?
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