Hi. I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. Did you recently go rollerblading and now you're wondering, why on earth do my shins hurt this much. This is the perfect video for you. I'm gonna go over why it is that your shins hurt. The front of your lower leg, why that's hurting, then I'm gonna give you some tips on how to get it to stop hurting. At the end of the video, I will let you know how it is that we could work together and get you those results a lot faster.
Let's get started. Why on earth do your shins hurt? Well, that is because the front of your leg was used in a way that it has not been used possibly forever, or just in the last foreseeable timeframe.
When you're rollerblading, you have to use a lot of balance. Most people realize that they're using their ankles in a way that they're not used to using, pushing off and trying to figure out your balance to let your feet glide sideways is not a normal way that we walk or that we move. Your feet, your ankles, everything gets a workout in a way that it has not done (again, possibly forever). It depends on if this is the first time you've roller bladed, or if you just haven't done it in a while.
What happens when we use our muscles in a way that they haven't been used in a while is they get very tired. They burn through all of their energy sources in the muscle and then they start to develop something called lactic acid.
The acid ends up being in that muscle, especially when we use that part of our body, a lot, the lactic acid builds up quite a bit in that muscle, and it just takes time for it to push itself out during the time of the building it up and having it work itself out that muscle that was overused can feel bruised. It can certainly feel like it's injured and it can take what feels like an exorbitant amount of time to get it to clear out and to be normal again.
I promise there's nothing nefarious happening. If you rollerbladed, if this was your first time rollerblading, or if maybe you've been rollerblading, but you have been doing it more often, or for longer periods of time, the sign of the soreness is just that muscle getting stronger and a learning new skill, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's very uncomfortable.
So let's talk about how it is that we're gonna get rid of that pain. I have a few tips for you. My first tip for you is to ice the front of your leg. Typically when people talk to me about their shin hurting it's the muscle that's beside the bone in the front of your leg. If you can feel that little bone in the front of your leg, there's a muscle that's on the side. That can be very tender, especially after rollerblading.
Even now touching my shin, because I ran the other day, it's not exactly thrilled with me, so that's okay. Icing, this can help take away quite a bit of discomfort, because it helps get rid of a lot of the inflammation that is being brought into that area to allow this muscle to heal.
By getting rid of a little bit of the swelling, it can reduce your pain. I would ice for about 10 minutes. Ultimately what you're looking for, if you really don't like ice and you don't want it on there for 10 minutes, put it on there for long enough that once you remove the ice, you shouldn't be able to feel your finger touching your leg. So it should feel numb is essentially what you're looking for. You don't have to leave it on for 20 or 30 minutes. You don't have to do anything super crazy. You should get a little bit of relief or a lot of relief from icing for just that two minutes.
The next thing I would suggest is stretching. It can be very tender. This muscle has a tendency to be very, very tender and very sensitive to stretching. For some people, If you're sitting in a chair this can work as well, but if you can just lift your foot up to cross it over your knee and just gently, don't be aggressive, gently pull your toe back so that you're stretching that whole front of that your leg, you should feel a pull anywhere along the line of that bone and that would be normal. You wanna hold that for about 30 seconds?
If that is not getting aggressive enough, okay, then what we'll do is we're gonna, I'm gonna show you a new one. So a different way that you can stretch the same muscle is by getting in this kneeling position. Now the full stretch position is sitting all the way, just sitting on your feet with your toes pointed, that does not stretch the front of your leg, your shin muscle as much. Pointing your toes and then sitting. There is a big gap between how aggressive just pulling your toe is and then sitting on them. So if you need to modify this, you simply just put your weight on your hands and then sit back as far as you can tolerate. If you need a little extra help, if you put a pillow or a yoga block and you'll just sort of stop yourself from being able to go down too far. That way you can support yourself and still get a really nice stretch at the front of that leg. Hold time should be 30 seconds to a minute. As you can maybe tell, this takes a little bit of time to get into the position.
So by the time you relax and really feel a stretch, you're probably about 20 seconds in. So that's why I suggest about 30 seconds. That way you actually have time to feel the stretch and get the benefit. I repeat, stretch two to three times. You can stretch as much as you feel as necessary. Those are how I would stretch it.
Now there are a few other things to consider. The skates that you're using, if you just bought them, then you probably need time to adjust to the skates. But let's say you've been using them for a while and it's still giving you the same problem. You wanna make sure that the skates are comfortable, that they fit you well. So you're not shifting around too much and your foot shouldn't be going all over the place. They should be comfortable. You also shouldn't feel like your toes are being jammed into the front of it. When you're skating. You'll notice that you tend to wanna lean a little bit forward to catch your balance.
As you get more acclimated to the balance aspect, you shift back a little bit more, because ultimately the best skating position is where you are on, I would say the ball of your foot, but it's not, you're not that far forward. So maybe the middle of your foot, keeping your weight in the middle of your foot with your knee slightly bent, but they're still over your ankles. Then you want your trunk within the base of support. So you basically are in a mini squat position and you're just sort of staying there. You're not all the way squatted down, because that would be really difficult, but just that athletic stance where your knees are bent and you're kind of in a crouch position and that's the position you wanna be able to stay in.
If your skates really make your toes feel like they're jammed or you're putting a lot of weight on the front of it, that you're gonna be using a lot more strength of the front of your leg than is necessary for the activity and that could be another reason. Your shin is so tight and tender after you're skating.
Another thing to consider is how long you've skated. If you've not skated in years and you went out and skated for two hours, your shins could just be sore just from the duration, because that really was a workout. So you just worked out for two hours and if you haven't done that particular type of working out, then that explains the soreness.
We've gone over icing, stretching, skate fit, make sure that they're nice and light and that they fit you well. Then skating duration can also play into effect. Now the other thing to consider is if you've tried, tried all of those things and it's still not helping, but you really like skating. You really like rollerblading.
This is something that you want to keep doing. Then I would add in a day of cross training. So a day where you're intentionally stretching and strengthening your lower legs and working on balance. So being able to stand on one leg and not be all over the place is key. So cross training is always a wonderful way to help prevent an injury, but also to prevent massive amounts of muscle soreness so that you don't feel like you've done something dramatic to your body.
Skating is great, sometimes when we're trying a new activity, you need a little bit of help to figure out how to do exercises correctly and how to progress them and what exactly you should be doing to make sure that the muscles are healing properly, that they're getting the right strengthening program that they're functioning correctly and that our form is good with the activity that we're doing.
And that is where working with a movement specialist like myself can really help you embrace a sport without feeling awkward, without feeling like you're gonna do something to hurt yourself because we can watch how you're moving and see if maybe there's another reason why you're overusing one particular muscle. In this video we've been highlighting your shin muscle. There are lots of reasons that muscles could be working harder than your calf or harder than the side of your ankle or harder than your quads.
Trying to figure out why it is that one particular muscle keeps giving you a problem could be key to keeping you doing the sport that you like in this case. We're talking about how to keep you rollerblading and rollerblading is absolutely fabulous. I personally grew up going down to the sea wall and rollerblading for several hours most weekends. It's just so much fun to practice tricks and twirling. Now I see that it's becoming more and more popular inside of the roller skating rinks. It's just amazing. So let's keep those shins healthy and moving along.
If you are interested in trying to work together, I offer a free phone consultation just to make sure that I'm the right fit for you. That this is even something that you should be exploring. That will be a free phone consultation.
I also offer, if you're looking for a little bit more specific information about you and your specific injury, I offer a $20 full body diagnostic. During that time, we'll specifically look at how you're moving and address any concerns that you have in relation to possible injury or how you're moving. That's what you're curious about. It would not be a full evaluation, so there's no hands on, it's more of a, let's see what's going on specifically and give you some basic guidance on what you should do next.
Okay. Well, I hope that this information is helpful and keep skating.
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WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald