Lower Leg Pain

by Amy
(Tampa, FL)

I used to be a long distance runner, and stopped for a few YEARS. Now that I've gained weight and got back into running about a mile a day I get horrible lower leg pain, on the outside of my shins.

Not shin splints, because when I touch the muscle it is hard, and a light massage makes it perfectly normal in a few minutes.

I thought it was the weight gain, but some days its not bad and others i can't make it 1/2 a mile.

I believe I overpronate but don't know how to fix it, I want to run more!! Help!

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Amy,
Thanks for your question about your lower leg pain.

Shin splints is a bit of an abused term. It is used to refer any lower leg pain nowadays it seems.

Whatever the name, we need to see what we can do to treat and prevent this lower leg pain. Initial treatment should consist of rest and ice. Also see my shin splints-page for some products you can use.

When there is absolutely no positive response to your treatment then it is time to consult a doctor. You may have a (developing) stress fracture. This can sort of slumber in the background and get worse and worse every run.

When it comes to prevention, there may be some reasons, most likely that you are running too much. This is especially a risk when you have not run for a while and then start again. Your brain still knows that you were able to do 20-milers, your body doesn't.

Other reasons can be your running shoes or hard surfaces.

Best of luck with the treatment. If pain continues, go see a doctor.

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