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Shin pain from walking, not running
JeannieY posted:
Hi Rich,

I've been running 25+ miles/week with no problems. But the other day, I was taking a walk with a friend and we walked up and down a quarter mile hill with about 25% incline. Our total mileage was approximately 5.75 miles. My right shin is now pretty sore. I notice that I experience soreness in both shins also when I spend the weekend walking up and down the hills when in San Francisco (I live in LA so not a lot of hills).

Do you have any stretches or strengthening exercises that might help me avoid getting these shin pains? Is there a way to strengthen the shins? Why do my shins get sore when I walk, which is suppose to be much easier on my body, than when I run? Shouldn't I feel more tired when I run 6 miles as compared to when I walk 6 miles? It's the other way around... Sorry if my questions seem redundant, I'm a bit perplexed.
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Hi Jeannie

You're getting this soreness from the steep elevation that you climbed. Walking briskly uphill causes the anterior tibialis muscle on the outside of your shin to contract frequently (ankle flexion) and at sharp angles. It would be like doing hundreds of biceps reps with heavy weight - it's going to get sore. During running your ankle doesn't flex at such a sharp angle, thus less soreness. Plus, since you weren't used to it, the soreness was even worse. And even if you didn't walk at the steep angle, you would still be sore because when you walk there's more flexion than with running, and this is particularly so if you run on your toes.

Stretching the anterior tibialis is not easy. You can try it, which I do recommend but you ought to also heat it up, massage it for 10-15 minutes, move it around through the range of motion, and then ice it for another 10 or 15 minutes. The first image on the following page is a good example of a way to strengthen the anterior tibialis

I hope that helps. Take care, Rich
JeannieY replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
Thanks Rich. I'll try your suggestions.
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to JeannieY's response:
You're welcome Jeannie. Let me know how it goes.

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