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Can anyone explain random shin pain during running?

Posted by KovasP

I occasionally get random shin soreness or pain during runs, have never been able to correlate it to anything. No consistency to when it happens; sometimes after more exercise, sometimes after time off, sometimes on incline, mostly not.
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Shin splints have another name, too much too soon. Shin splints are an over-use injury. Try cutting your distance in half. If that cures your shin splints, then stick with the shorter distance and make weekly or biweekly increases of about 10% in your distance. Also, do stretches to strengthen your legs and your shins. Here are the ones I do.
Allen, I thought they might be shin splints, but they don't last for more than the one day; i.e., I might have shin soreness on Sunday, but am fine by my Tuesday run and don't have a reoccurence for several weeks or months. Seems like it would last longer if it was actually shin splints. Thanks for the response!

My guess is that it's a posture issue.  We shin pain/injuries all the time in my clinic.  Pain is the body's way of telling you that something is out of's not quite right. If this is an overuse injury, then both shins should hurt the exact same (assuming you're running with both legs!).  If they don't hurt equally, or at the same time, then we can't chalk this up to 'overuse'.  And, they should hurt the exact same from one run to the next, which you said they don't.  I'd love to get more info from you and see if there is any way we can help.  You can call me at the office at 615.771.8556.


John Elder, Egoscue Nashville


John, Thanks for the response. If the pain continues, I'll take you up on your offer!
It's the shin pain gremlins.
When I first started running I got them, so I figured it was "First time runners Syndrome". Then when I increased the mileage the pains came back. Having seen the physio here at home, all my muscles are tight in my lower extremeties. This has been causing all my pain in my left leg. Lots of stretching and strengthening are the order and this should help and it is making me feel better.
Thanks Barb. I am somewhat lackadaisical about stretching, so maybe if I am more consistent, the pains will not return.
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