Generally pain at the front of the shins. The 3 major causes are tendonopathy, stress factures and compartment syndrome.



The most common variety of this type of shin pain is posteromedial tibial stress syndrome and occurs when repetitive ‘pulling’ of the muscles on the shin bone causes an inflammatory reaction and microscopic tearing. The shin is often tender to touch.

Stress fractures

Repetitive stress on the bone may cause a tiny fracture in the tibia, otherwise known as a stress fracture. Symptoms are similar but more severe to those of tendonitis.

Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome pain will generally settle with rest, but return once activity or sport is resumed. If untreated, can lead to muscles damage and possibly require surgery to release the tension from the overlying fascia.

Contributing factors include:

  • Poor foot biomechanics and poor footwear
  • Repetitive impact activities such as running and jumping
  • Sudden increases in activity
  • Poor muscle flexibility
  • Imbalances in muscle strength in the calf and front of the shin

Early intervention with a Richmond Physiotherapy Clinic physiotherapist is appropriate for shin pain often involving a hands on and exercise based approach, modification of activity, pain management strategies, a stretching / strengthening program and possible assessment of footwear.

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