When the running bug gets a hold of you, it doesn't grip light.
(It gets you in a cop-like arm lock, only this time it's pleasurable)
You live running, you think running. You literally breathe running.
Got toothache pain in your lower leg? Like when the anesthetic wears off in the dentist?
(Or a gummy rat gnawing on your shin bone like a corn cob)
It's shin splints, aka medial tibial stress syndrome. The scourge of new runners.
Toothache Pain in Leg aka Shin Splints
A bad dose of shin splints reverberates. Doing too much, too soon, triggers that dull, heavy throb.t
As a result, it now burns when you move.
I know this: I suffered with the lower leg toothache myself.
The ache strikes people new to an exercise. To be precise, the high impact stuff.
Rubber Meets The Road
What I really mean is your foot hits the floor and you make hard contact with the ground.
When you jog, your footsteps create a force several times your body weight.
After your trainers absorb the impact, your shin muscles come into play.
They eat up the energy.
When your muscles give up, the jarring transfers to your shin bone.
Your lower leg is built on a bone foundation known as the tibia.
It's one of the strongest, hardest bones in the body.
(Thai boxers kick palm trees with it)
Yet despite all this strength, your shin is packed with sensitive nerves.
As you've no doubt found out when you hit it on something in the dark. Or run for weeks on end on concrete.
Excessive stress inflames the surface of the bone and the muscles attached to it.
Toothache Pain in Leg Symptoms
Cases go like this:
You start a new exercise regime and everything's going great.
A few weeks in, you notice a mild lower leg soreness the day after a run. Your lower shin starts hurts when you press on it.
(It's worse on the inside of the bone)
But you soldier on.
Toothache (But in Your Leg)
It can't be that bad can it? After all, this lower leg toothache eases after you warm up.
Ten minutes in, you've forgotten about it.
But there's a problem.
It comes back with a vengeance as you cool down.
Over time, it creeps into the jog itself. And hurts more the day after.
In the end, the "mild ache" is now a jarring throb on every step.
Toothache Pain in Leg Causes
This is what happens:
Pounding hard pavement puts a heap of stress on the muscles that attach to the shin.
To ward off the new demand, these muscles disperse force down to your tibia bone.
The bones' surface, called the periosteum, becomes raw and sore as a response.
This is why it hurts to press down on.
All the muscle clamped to your shinbone is being ripped across the bone.
The biggest cause of this?
Exercising too much and too soon.
Your muscles, tendons and bone haven't had time to adapt to the sudden increase in stress.
Hence medial tibial stress syndrome.
Toothache Pain in Leg (And Running)
The ground you run on has a big effect.
Unforgiving surfaces like concrete create much more stress — even for well-cushioned shoes.
Downhill running makes shin splints worse. Your leg muscles have to work overtime to resist gravity.
Bad Foot Wear
Wearing old or wrong shoes is a huge contributor to shin splints.
Human feet weren't designed/evolved/created to run on hard concrete.
They need all the cushioning they can get.
More support, for the arch or heel, helps absorb some of that tremendous shock from the hard ground.
Tight Shin Muscles
Everyone knows you should stretch muscles after exercise.
The shin area is often overlooked. It comes way down on the list after calf and quad stretches.
But, as well as powering movement, muscles have another important role. They absorb shock.
A longer, more nimble muscle dampens shock better.
Toothache Pain in Leg Treatment
Toothache-like leg pain is almost always resolved with:
Treatment should start right away with ice and an immediate break from training.
Then, introduce a stretching program and at the very least decide if it's time to buy new trainers.
The first step to managing shin pain is to address the burning inflammation.
Icing is the undisputed king at cooling shin splints. It's cheap and very effective.
Apply to the aching area for up to ten minutes several times a day if needed.
You'll know right away it's working. Your shin will be comfortably numb.
After managing the pain symptoms, it's crucial to let the area heal.
Allow at least several days from any activity involving impact.
When you start back, begin at much less intensity. Avoid hard surfaces as much as possible.
It can be tempting to jump straight back into exercise when the pain has reduced.
But shin pain returns fast without proper rest.
Trainers and Insoles
Don't skimp on running trainers.
For insoles, there's no need for anything fancy as a general rule.
As a Podiatrist, I would (assuming you need them) look to provide arch and heel support. This would be to give your foot a hand in shock absorption.
Stretches for Shin Splints
Stretching encourages healing blood flow. It also makes your legs better at dealing with concrete.
Focus on exercises that target tibialis anterior muscle and the front of your foot.
Toothache Pain in Leg aka Shin Splints
It can be very tempting to jump right back into it after a few sessions pain-free.
Err on the side of caution. Be patient and take more time off than you think you need.
Plan and stick to rest days. Keep sessions shorter than before.
Grass and track are your friends; they allow your legs to adapt to the new stress.