Why do my shins hurt when I walk?

We recently got a treadmill at home and I am having trouble getting the best out of it. The reason for this is that after a short while my shins start to become very very painful. For example, this morning I set it to 5.5 km/h and began walking, after I had walked about 1km I had to stop due to the shooting pains. I wasn’t too out of breath and my calf and hamstring muscles felt fine but it seemed like the shin bones themselves were causing me a lot of pain. The pain occurs on the front of my lower-leg and slightly to the outside, so for example if I am looking down at my right foot the pain is down the right-hand side of my lower leg.

Does anyone know what is causing this and what steps I could take to aleviate the problem? It is very frustrating to have to stop exercising when I barely feel warmed up because of these shooting pains. The pains continue for about 10 minutes after I have finished on the treadmill.

IANAD, buit it sounds very much like shin splints.

You should probably see an orthopedist and take a break from the exercising until you do. Shin splints on their own aren’t so terrible, but if you persist in overworking them, it could lead to more problems later on. My brother had them in the Marines but couldn’t take a break, and wound up with a knee injury that lead to an early discharge.

Take care and I hope you feel better.

Yep, that’s shin splints.

Many people suffer from this when they begin jogging or regular walking after prolonged inactivity. I always find that they go away after a couple of steady weeks back at the track.

IANAD, but I would recommend that you don’t push yourself to the point of actual pain. Stop the workout when it becomes uncomfortable. If you don’t see improvement after 2 weeks, you may want to talk to your doctor about it.

FWIW, you should talk to your doctor anyway if you are beginning an exercise regimen after a long period (more than 6 months) of relative inactivity. He can help you through the shin splints, and help you determine what exercises are best for your goals. Losing weight, cardiovascular improvement, building muscle mass… reaching each of those goals (or any other) may be best suited to certain activities.

Also, a doctor can help you with what vitamins and nutrients you will be using more of (potassium, zinc, calcium, etc.) in case you need to adjust your diet. Use care with suppliments, tho. Used improperly they can do a lot of damage.

But the shin splints… like I said, just don’t work yourself to the point of pain and you should see improvement in a couple of weeks of steady effort.