Pain in Lower Legs

I thought I might have fractures (shin splints). I am an x-ray tech. I confirmed I do not have it, by taking an x-ray and followed up with a bone scan...all negative.

My pain is medially lower leg, just above the medial malleoulus, and posteriorly (achilles) aspect. I have been running for 3 months.

Could this be just a "beginners" aches and pain, Muscles I had never used before, or might I have something a little more serious?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thank for your question about your lower leg pain.
You know what... you might still have shin splints!

Shin splints are a name for multiple issues that can occur in the lower leg. This does not only include stress fractures, but also soft tissue problems, like stress of the medial tibia. You will then feel pain exactly where you are referring, just above the medial malleoulos.

It is not "just" a beginner's aches and pains, although this does happen a lot to beginning runners. Reasons of this may be that you are running too much, too soon. It may also be an issue with the terrain you are running on (e.g. hills) or your foot pronation.

When this happens, it is wise to stop running or at least decrease your mileage to a much, much lower level. Want to maintain your fitness? Then find cross-training activities that do not put that much pressure on your lower legs (e.g. bike, swim).

Then try to eliminate the problem you had. This may mean that you need to go down a notch or two in training intensity. It does not mean that you will never be able to run as much as you do now. Your body just needs more time to adjust to what you want it to do. You may have to find other terrain to run on. And definitely pay a visit to a specialized running shoe store to get shoes fitted for your feet.

There are some home-use products you can use to help fight shin splints. Apart from anti-inflammatories and ice you can find some of these on my shin splints-page.

When issues persist you should seek medical attention. Given your profession, you may know a few people who can help you out!

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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