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Lower leg issues - shin splints?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Aside from all the great days this season, Iv been suffering from serious pain in the lower legs. The symptoms are similar to those of shin-splints but the pain is coming from the back/outside of my calf area; about half way between the knee and ankle. The pain is similar to a bruise in that when pressure is applied, it hurts. A lot. I can walk fine and ski groomed terrain just fine. When I apply any pressure to the back of the leg by leaning back in my boots, the pain is excruciating. Iv been skiing for 23 years and this is new to me as of last season. Iv also gone through 4 pairs of boots since the beginning of last season, so I dont think boots are the issue.

Not sure if anyone has experienced this or has any info/remedies for this. Iv done a little research, but havent come up with anything to helpful. Thanks for the help!

Cheers
post #2 of 13
I don't know much about shin splints from skiing but used to be an XC runner so have a farm amount of experience with shin splints. I am almost positive you don't have shin splints for three reasons: First and foremost the pain is on the back of your leg and which would more likely be the tibia, two there isn't enough strength in the muscles to cause your bone to splinter in the back(your bone would have to be pulled forward) and third there would likely be some pain when you walked.

My first guess would have been that you are tightening your boots to much but if you have been skiing for 27 years I doubt that is the problem. Have you had any hard impacts to the back of the leg recently? If so, it's possible you bruised the bone which takes much longer to heal than the surface bruise and the pressure from the boots could be aggravating it.

Hope that info helps.
post #3 of 13
^^ FYI - The tibia would be the bone in the front of your leg, aka the shin-bone. The fibula is the bone in the back of your leg.
post #4 of 13
Is this a muscle pain? The gastrocnemus muscle is in back, and is very susceptible to injury.
I got a very similar pain to the one you describe from pushing a stalled car out of an intersection.
One doctor said 'gastrocnemus tear' a better one said 'gastrocnemus trigger point' and cured it.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by VR6NH View Post
Iv been skiing for 23 years and this is new to me as of last season. Iv also gone through 4 pairs of boots since the beginning of last season, so I dont think boots are the issue.
i've just got to ask:

4 pairs of boots in a season and you DON'T have boot issues???
post #6 of 13

ski days?

How many days do you ski in a year? I have the same problem, but only after skiing A LOT. I don't know if it's simply muscle fatigue or shin bang but sometimes it gets to a point that I have to take some pain pills before I ski.

Maybe your boots are too tight. Maybe your form is off (skiing in the backseat too much?)

I do think that 4 boots in 1 season is excessive. Maybe it's the fact that you're not giving yourself enough time to break your boots in.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnate View Post
^^ FYI - The tibia would be the bone in the front of your leg, aka the shin-bone. The fibula is the bone in the back of your leg.
Thank you for the correction thats the one I meant. Never could keep them straight. Maybe thats why I had some trouble in HS anatomy...
post #8 of 13
er...
Bones don't feel pain, only the layer of soft tissue that covers them (the periosteum), which contains nerves and blood vessels.
A 'bone bruise' is an injury to that layer, not to the bone itself. Broken bones only hurt because the layer (and the nerves it contains) is torn.
One hard blow to a bone can cause a bone bruise; getting hit in the calf by a chair can do it; or bumped by a shopping cart.
Another possible source of pain is the spot where a tendon attaches to the periosteum. Sometimes our muscles pull so hard that there's pain at the spot where they attach.
If it was my pain, I'd look at a trigger point chart online to see if the exact location of the pain is a well known trigger point; a spot that a lot of athletes have had problems with.
My Dr told me that my piriformis syndrome and gastrocnemus problem were classic examples of symptoms she'd seen in hundreds of athletes. The cure for MY problem was simple.
Maybe yours will be too.
post #9 of 13
1) A bone bruise involves both the periosteum and micro fracture of the cortex.

2) The OP's symptoms are not compatible with shin spints.

3) Common possibilities include trigger point (lateral gastroc or peroneous brevis/longus), peroneus strain, muscle contusion, and exertional compartment syndrome. The fact that it is apparently bilateral makes trigger point and strain less likely and suggests contusion, compartment syndrome, or YOUR BOOTS .

4) If the OP only has symptoms in one leg (in case I'm reading the post incorrectly), and x-ray is indicated.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
Thank you for the correction thats the one I meant. Never could keep them straight. Maybe thats why I had some trouble in HS anatomy...
in a first aid class years ago---an instructor told us the tibia was weightbearing and the fibual was just along for the ride and from that point on he always referred to it as the **ck it bone (ryhmes with duck).

I never forgot that .......
post #11 of 13
I have the same exact thing (I guess that's why I ended up here doing a google search).  Been trying to get it solved for about 4 seasons now.  Was so sure it was exertional compartment syndrome that I signed myself up for surgery and had my Fascia removed in the area.  But still have the problem.  Have also gone through 4 different boots (only one a season though) with no resolve.  The problem re-appears after about 30 days on the season.  Which was today.  Then once its back, I can only ski 1 day and have to take 4 or 5 off, for the remainder of the season.  Fully functional once I'm out of the boots walking around, running, anything, but once I get the boots back on and make a few turns its back.  I occassionally get a loud POP when lounging around afterwards and I point my toes forward and then pull them back real fast.  Try that and see if you get the same thing.  Also been skiing about 25 years and it only showed up 4 years ago.  If all I ski are groomers all season, no problem.  The issue comes up after a couple of hard powder days.  Custom footbeds, custom liners.  I definitely learned that heat is your enemy.  Do not hot tub afterwards.  Ice is better.  I get it more in my right leg than left.  My right foot is smaller than my left noted by my boot fitter so that might have something to do with it.  But eventually the left leg gets it too in the same exact spot.  The symmetry of it is interesting.  Athletic tape doesn't help or those weird compression stockings the PT tried.  The PT asked me if I had sprained my ankle or ankles as a child, which I did, and he says sometimes that will effect the proper development of your ankles.  Did you ever sprain yours?  I think Rustyroot is on to something about being in the backseat too much.  It really acts up in powder, and NEVER does on groomers.  My next experiment;  I have the new Schizo bindings so I'm gonna try to slide my bindings way back to see if I get any relief while in the powder.  Keep this discussion going, I'd like to compare similarities. 
post #12 of 13
There's another discussion going on titled, "severe pain, lateral low leg."  Like that guy, I've also had an X-Ray, MRI, and some doppler blood flow test with no signs of injury.  Actually, the MRI showed swelling in the area. 
post #13 of 13
 i also have this problem, i race so i crank my boots or else its just weird to me. even  when i am not skiing the pain is definately there. Its pretty annoying. advice would be great :) oh and i had a serious ankle injury late august and i was in physical therapy until late october and was in a walking boot for a good month. and i noticed yesterday there are bruises on the inner part of the ankle and outer (if u know what i mean). help would b appreciated.
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