Posted by: H | 2008/01/28

Aching shins

Hi Doc

I jog on a treadmill 5 days a week for +- 20 min at an average speed of 11km/h. The gym has recently upgraded their equipment and I've been suffering from painful shins ever since.

A friend has complained about the same thing and has recommended that I increase the gradient to 1 to 1.5% as he has found this to alleviate his problem. The old treadmills were raised at a slight angle (while at a 0% gradient), while the new ones are completely horizontal. Could this be the reason for my problem?

Any suggestions? Please help!

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Our expert says:
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Hi H

Could definitely be a problem - I suspect that what may be happening is that your change in orientation on the treadmill may be causing your foot to land jus slightly differently compared to the older treadmills. That landing obviously puts strain on the ankle and calf and shin, and so what may have happened is that your shins are now reacting to impact that before was comfortably handled. What I would suggest is that you go up to 0.5% first, and see how that goes. Then up to 1%. The last thing you need is to overcompensate and end up with maybe an Achilles tendon problem. So edge your way up instead. During this time, it may also be a good idea just to slow it down - 10km an hour, for example, and maybe for 10 to 15 min, rather than 20. Just for a week or two. You can burn off your other energies doing the stairmaster, perhaps and work on getting stronger calves,which may also help!

Good luck

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