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Bootfitting help for shin pain

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My son (15 years, 6 ft tall, 160 pounds) races. The last two seasons he has developed terrible shin pain - so bad that he had to end the season early. The pain is not boot top - it is all along the shin inside the boot. This has happened two years in a row with two different pairs of boots (Technica jr race boots two years ago, Rossi shark noses with soft flex last year). Our first approach was to go to a very good bootfitter. I am convinced that his boots fit correctly, and that the tongue is in the right place. Even now after four months of not skiing, there is tenderness in spots along the shin bone. The tenderness is along the bone, not in the muscles beside the bones, so we are convinced this is due to inflammation where the muscles attach to the shin, not due to "shin splints". Running doesnt seem to aggravate it, so we dont think it is due to stress fractures. It just seems that my son is uniquely sensitive to pressure on the front of the bone.


We are doing some therapy with an MD and a PT (light therapy, stretching, strengthening), but I am thinking about what we could do structurally with the boot to lessen the pressure on the bone itself. My question is whether anyone has ideas on how to set up a boot so that there is less tongue pressure on the front of the shin bone, and more pressure is spread onto the sides of the tongue, which dont seem to be as sensitive.


Thanks for any help.



post #2 of 5

Shin bang is indeed a daunting dilemna, and a fairly common problem, especially among kids. My son has had shin bang, as have some of my friends, and it's nasty.


It's one of the less understood issues, and I'm not sure I understand it either, but: The explanation I find most real is that it isn't the boot (assuming you have a good boot with an appropriate flex for your skiing), it's something happening in one's skiing: landing jumps on less than ideal LZs, skiing hard through chop, skiing chop in flat light, anything causing you to be smashing your shin against the tongue of the boot. I believe it IS a form of stress fracture combined with inflamation. You have to back off and let it heal, and it takes about a month or so. Then you have to correct that brutal aspect of your skiing that caused it in the first place. I think kids get it a lot because not only do they jump, they jump everywhere and anywhere and over and over.


Since no one wants to quit skiing for a minor but painful injury, some people use a doughnut type  pad around the tender spot. It is of some benefit.

post #3 of 5

odds are he has skinny legs?  (15 years, 6 ft tall, 160 pounds) and that the boots tongue might not curve as tight/small/narrow as his shin?  so all the pressure is on the front of the shin, and nothing around the sides?

more padding on the sides of the tongue, or heat and curve the sides of the tongue in more, and a extra power strap around the liner only?



boots might be a bit stiff too, but it sounds like tongue shape is wrong..

post #4 of 5

I had Dobermans with an inadequate tongue and used neoprene from an old wet suit to pad it out where necessary to avoid pressure points. but I think shin bang is way worse than what you get from a boot tongue.

post #5 of 5

Keep strengthening his shins. I have a few exercises that my track coach had us do to combat and prevent the shin splints that we would get during indoor season.


1.  Lean up against a fence (or wall but fence is more forgiving on your back) with legs at a 90 degree angle. Keep hands free, do not hold yourself up. Lift toes up for 30-60 seconds. Repeat as many times as you'd like. With this you should feel the strain on the shin muscles.


2. This requires a helper. Have your son sit down and lean back on his hands with his feet flat on the ground. You, or his helper should be putting pressure (usually all of your weight, start with less weight if you have to) on his toes. Have him attempt to lift his toes with his heel remaining on the ground. Do this 10 times then wait a minute or so and repeat.


I hope this helps. I did read you were doing therapy, but I'm not sure what that consists of.. and getting stronger never hurts.


Good luck!

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