Shins Hurt After Running? A Complete Guide To Shin Pain
Many runners have experienced shin pain during and after running. It can range from minor discomfort to more serious pain that can keep you off your feet for weeks.
So, what causes your shins to hurt after running? Is it something you can prevent from happening? And what is the quickest way to reduce symptoms of pain in your shins?
In this article, we discuss why your shins may hurt after running and how you can prevent this from happening. So, keep reading to learn more.
Why Do Your Shins Hurt After Running?
Shin pain when running (often known as shin splits) is caused by overloading your leg muscles, tendons, or shin bones. Shin pain is often caused by overuse and is relatively common among distance runners.
When the muscles around your shin get inflamed, they start to press against the bone, which causes pain both when resting and running.
The main reason why distance runners get sore shins is from increasing their mileage or intensity too quickly. This ends up overloading the lower leg muscles. Other factors like hill running or shoes that lack enough cushioning can often cause shin pain.
Is It Normal For Shins To Hurt After Running?
While it’s not normal for your shins to hurt after running, it is a common occurrence among runners. If the runner doesn’t manage their training correctly, shin pain after running can be a result.
New runners are more likely to experience shin pain after running than experienced runners. This is because their training volume is usually ramped up too quickly, resulting in inflammation build-up around the shin.
Other factors can include poor running form. Often new runners land heavily on their hills which can add more strain on the lower leg muscles.
Symptoms may come on suddenly or over time. Some of the symptoms include:
– Pain in one or both shins
– A sharp or dull pain when resting
– Aching pain at the front of your shin
– Pain worsens with exercise
– Pain gets better with rest
If you have serious shin pain (shin splits) it is not uncommon for that pain to be felt when just walking.
How To Prevent Shins From Hurting After A Run?
Luckily there are some ways to prevent your shins from hurting after a run. This includes:
– Wearing shoes with good heel and arch support
– Choose running shoes with plenty of cushioning
– Stretch your lower leg muscles before running
– Strengthening the ankles, calves, toes, and shin muscles
– Not running when dealing with shin pain
– Increasing training volume and intensity slowly
– Varying your workouts to prevent repetitive injuries
– Work on your running technique
– Running on softer surfaces
Other ways to prevent shin pain after running include stretching and icing your lower leg muscles after strenuous workouts. This can help reduce inflammation around the shin bone.
Will Shin Pain Go Away If I Keep Running?
There are times when minor shin pain will go away with running. However, for most people, running through shin pain can lead to a more serious injury like a stress fracture. That’s why it is important to rest while your shins are sore. Many runners use cycling or swimming to keep up their fitness while symptoms recover.
How To Treat Sore Shins After Running?
The best treatment for sore shins is to rest. Doing so will help promote a full recovery within a few weeks. During this time you can replace running with other forms of activity such as cycling, swimming, or using the elliptical trainer.
Other ways to treat sore shins can include:
-Over-the-counter NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and pain
– Icing your lower legs for 20 minutes throughout the day
– Using tape or compression wrap to reduce stress on the shins
– Use running shoes with more cushioning
– Stretch your lower legs and toes
-Use orthotics to help stabilize the foot and help align your gait
– Slowly build up your running again, by introducing short running periods and walking until full recovery and pain have resided.
Shin pain can be painful and last a long time if not treated properly. Take caution when starting back exercise and allow full recovery before starting running again. This can prevent symptoms from reappearing again and putting you out of training for a longer period.