Shin and Calf Pain

If you have ever experienced shin splints or calf pain then you know how debilitating it can make you feel.

The level of discomfort can range from mild annoyance to sharp excruciating pain that is enough to keep you in bed and thinking the worst about the situation. In either case, it is not something that you want to experience, especially as you move into the more severe aching sensations. 

In this article, we will provide a brief look at both of these conditions along with the symptomatology that is commonly associated with each.

It is important to remember that with all pain and discomfort, it is best to address the issues early and take the necessary steps towards effective treatment. 

Shin Splints Are Quite Common

Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is a very common condition. It is pain that runs along the shinbone, the long bone in the front of your lower leg (called the tibia). Shin splints aren’t a single medical condition. Instead, it’s a symptom of an underlying problem. 

The pain is the result of an overload on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone. 

The causes of shin splints can be varied. Here are a few of the most common causes:

  • Flat feet
  • Running
  • Dancing
  • Increased intensity of training
  • Stress fractures (tiny hairline breaks in the bone)
  • Change of training surface (e.g. switching from a track to asphalt) 

These physical activities are just a few examples of things that can cause shin splints but the list is far from exhaustive.

While the causes can be many, the symptoms are typically similar. Here is a shortlist of the most frequently occurring symptoms associated with shin splints:

  • Tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner part of your lower leg
  • Mild swelling
  • Weakness or numbness in the feet

When you have shin splints or are experiencing shin pain or discomfort in any form, it is important to speak with a trained professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Getting the right therapy early can help ensure better recovery time.

If the pain is the result of a sports injury, then you may want to look into a sports injury physical therapy program to ensure you are getting the right treatment for healing and can return to physical activity as soon as possible.

How to Identify Calf Strain When it Occurs

A calf strain is an injury to the muscles and tendons in the back of the leg, below the knee. Often called a “pulled” muscle, a strain occurs when the muscle fibers or tendons are stretched or torn. 

This condition can occur during any physical activity where you push off forcefully from your toes. It may occur in running, jumping, or lunging.


  • Immediate calf pain
  • You may hear or feel a pop or snap in the calf
  • Difficulty rising on toes
  • Bruising and swelling may occur

As we previously discussed, if you are experiencing calf strain, whether it is minor or major discomfort, it is important to speak with a licensed medical professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

Contact Mid-County Physical Therapy For Shin and Calf Pain Today

Whether you are experiencing shin splints or calf strain, or any other type of pain or discomfort in your legs, it is best to speak with a trained physical therapist to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. 

This is how our team of trained professionals can help you.

Our physical therapists will help ensure that you are getting the right treatment so the healing process can occur. 

Call Mid-County Physical Therapy at (703) 763-3922 to schedule an appointment today.


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