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Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Walk Fast?

Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Walk Fast?

Shins may hurt when they are forced into some activity for too long with a lot of force. This is commonly known as shin splints.1 Shin splints are an overuse injury of leg muscles.

The pain in the shins is an exercise problem. It usually happens due to overloading of your leg muscles, tendons or the shin bone. It is mostly associated with a high impact activity of lower legs, which is of a repetitive nature. Hence, people related with professions like running, dancing, gymnastics etc. suffer from the shin pain more often compared to others.

When you walk fast, you are increasing the intensity of the force put on your shin bone. This may not be tolerable for you, or it might be just beyond the capacity of your legs to work. This increased force causes shin bone to get inflamed and painful, when you walk fast.

Usually, shin splints get healed on their own. The shin splints often go away within days, if you give them a proper resting period. However, you may need to reach out for a few treatment methods2, if the problem persists.

Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Walk Fast?

Ample rest is the key:

Giving the body a proper time to rest will improve the healing process. Shin splints usually tend to go away with proper rest

Give an ice massage:

  • a cold compress or an ice massage can help in alleviating the pain and swelling
  • take care not to apply ice directly on the bare skin
  • it is advisable to wrap a cloth around the ice and then apply on the affected part
  • follow this procedure every 3 to 4 hours for about 20 to 30 minutes and continue with this procedure over a period of next 2 to 3 days; or till the pain and discomfort subsides

Orthotics or insoles:

  • insoles or orthotics that are shock-absorbent can be used if the arches of your legs collapse or if you have a flat foot
  • They can be custom-made or are available over the counter too

Medications for pain:

  • You can alleviate the inflammation and pain with the help of anti-inflammatory medicines
  • However, these medicines may cause some unwelcome side effects
  • Use only when necessary and with proper consultation with a specialist

Consult a physiotherapist:

  • If the shin splints keep coming back, it is advisable to consult a physiotherapist
  • The physiotherapist will identify the exact problem of your shin splints and may help you recover quickly with the help of tailored exercises and stretches.

Preventing Shin Splints3

  • Good fitting shoes provide you with a proper support. replace the running shoes every 300-400 miles
  • Using Shock- absorbent insoles can prevent shin splints from happening repeatedly
  • Hard and uneven surface, slanting surface must not be used for exercise, running etc.
  • The exercise intensity should be increased gradually, not abruptly
  • Try taking shorter strides during running
  • Running should be done as mid-foot as possible. Avoid toe running and heel striking
  • Try a cross training exercise in between as running can be a shocking experience for your body. Cross training between running and other exercises like cycling or swimming can help the body recover from that shock and prevent shin splits
  • Do not forget to follow A proper warm-up routine before beginning any exercise
  • Also, include proper stretches before and during exercises
  • A strength training plan can be rewarding, especially the one that is responsible for building calf muscles
  • Symptoms4 worsen if you continue exercising through the pain and can lead to more complications
  • Discontinue the physical activity if pain or any other abnormal physical signs and symptoms develop. Seek a proper medical advice or rest as per the need
  • Physiotherapy can be helpful in many instances

Your shins may hurt due to various factors listed above. Shin splints are curable and preventable.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 26, 2020

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