Shin Pains

Jan 12th, 2014

Imogen asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:


I have been training for the London Marathon since November, which was going really well until about 5 weeks ago when I developed pains in my shins. I have the same pain as is described in the question in ‘Chronic shin pain’. After 2 weeks of rest and no improvement, I saw a doctor who advised me to take a further 2 weeks of rest, ice and elevation but the pain has continued to come and go despite all this. I have now had a 5 week break from running with just 3 4-6 mile runs throughout this time. I have not felt any pain during these short runs yet I have felt it when I have been lying down, walking or sitting. I am determined to complete the Marathon this year and plan to get my training back on track now and deal with the injury properly afterwards…I know that may not sound like the most sensible plan but do you have any tips for how I can keep this under control over the next 5 weeks?

Many thanks,


Jan 12th, 2014

The Guru Responded:


Your not the only one, it’s prime time!

Is it both shins or just one? Is there any boggy swelling around the painful bit? If you tap the bone above the painful bit does it reverberate in the painful bit?

Hopefully no most of the above and both shins…so here’s the plan.

Know what the cause is. Mostly poor shoe control (hope your are not too done in – its the wrong time to think about changing then now!), tight calf muscles (get stretching and keep foam rolling), poor control above your shins (roll out your ITBs and improve your glut control a la lunges and squats so you can feel your gluts work) and try to increase your cadence or smaller steps when running (run more steps per mile, not faster).

Taping can also help and keep icing. Wear soft (er) shoes during the day and avoid barefoot.

See what gives and let me know…

The Guru

Six Physio

​Imogen Responded:

Hello, thanks for getting back to me so quickly – I really appreciate the advice.

It is both shins, I don’t have swelling or reverberating. I got new shoes when I started training from a specialist running shop that assessed how I run etc, but my calf muscles definitely feel tight so I will act on your advice below. That is interesting what you say about cadence as I do tend to take quite large strides. When you say roll out your ITBs do you mean stretching? And which area of my legs do you suggest I tape?

I don’t know if this is anything to do with running but I think I may also have developed a trapped nerve or something similar in both legs over the past few days (I can feel a cramp-like sensation when I tense each quadricep at a certain angle) – are there any quick fixes for this or will it eventually go away?

Thank you,


The Guru Responded:

That’s good!

Roll out, don’t stretch your ITB as it does funny things to your back and hip – especially with the possible nervy stuff.

The cadence is important as if you over stride and can’t hold your hips square then you’ll cheat and let you thigh and leg roll in, slapping your forefoot on the ground…

KTape can make you feel better – but it’s the putting on bit that counts. I’m not fully convinced that you can DIY but maybe worth a bash as a pain reliever.

The cranky stuff is most likely due to how your moving because of the shin pain. If ever in doubt do see a good Physio/osteo etc

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