Shin Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your shin pain symptoms with Buoy, including 6 causes and common questions concerning your shin pain.

Shin Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your shin pain

Contents

  1. 6 Possible Shin Pain Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

6 Possible Shin Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced shin pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)

Shin splints is when there is pain in the front part of the lower leg. The pain is from the swelling of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your shin.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: shin pain, dull, achy shin pain, pain in the inside of the shin, shin pain from overuse, irregular period

Symptoms that always occur with shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome): shin pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Tibial stress fracture

A tibial stress fracture is a small crack in the shinbone (tibia). These fractures are most often a result of overuse and are commonly seen with an increase in activity. Usually stress fractures of the shinbone occur in the lower third of the bone.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: shin pain, dull, achy shin pain, moderate shin pain, pain in the inside of the shin, pain when pressing on the shin

Symptoms that always occur with tibial stress fracture: dull, achy shin pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Shin bruise

A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises. Bruises of the shin are common given the location of the shin.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: shin pain from an injury, shin injury, pain in one shin, shin swelling, shin bruise

Symptoms that always occur with shin bruise: shin injury, shin pain from an injury

Urgency: Self-treatment

Shin Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your shin pain

Paget disease of the bone

Paget disease of bone is also called PDB, osteitis deformans, or osteodystrophica deformans. It is normal for bone cells to renew themselves throughout life, but in PDB the renewal becomes disordered. New bone cells are produced too quickly, causing the bones to become weakened and overgrown.

The cause of PDB is not known. It may be due to an inherited trait combined with certain viral infections.

Symptoms include enlargement, bowing, and abnormal curving of the bones, with pain and tenderness. The skull, pelvis, spine, and upper arms and thighs are most often affected. However, many patients have no symptoms and the condition is discovered while assessing something else.

If not treated, Paget disease of bone can lead to bone deformity; fractures; osteoarthritis; and hearing loss due to changes in the small bones within the ear.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests and an x-ray or CT scan.

There is no cure, but symptoms can be managed with medication, pain relievers, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: new headache, pelvis pain, back pain, spontaneous bone pain, moderate hip pain

Symptoms that always occur with paget disease of the bone: spontaneous bone pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Fibular stress fracture

The fibula is the smaller shin bone which lies on the outer part of the lower leg. With excessive, repeated stress, a small fracture (called a stress fracture) can occur.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: foot numbness, pain in the outside of the knee, lower leg numbness, shin pain, pain in one shin

Symptoms that always occur with fibular stress fracture: pain in the outside of the shin, pain in one shin

Symptoms that never occur with fibular stress fracture: pain in both feet, pain in one foot, pain in the inside of the shin, swelling in both shins

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Peripheral arterial disease (pad)

Peripheral artery disease is also called PAD, intermittent claudication, or vascular disease. The large main artery from the heart is the aorta, and its smaller branches are the peripheral arteries.

In PAD these peripheral arteries are blocked with plaque, which is debris that builds up in the lining of these arteries and eventually cuts off the blood flow.

Risk factors for PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

PAD usually involves arteries that lead to the legs, but can affect any artery. Symptoms include numbness and pain in the legs, especially with exercise when more circulation is needed but the flow is blocked.

It is important to seek treatment for these symptoms. PAD can lead to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and infection as well as to gangrene, a life-threatening medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood tests, and sometimes a treadmill test, MRI, and arteriogram.

Treatment involves medication and surgery to open or bypass blocked arteries, and lifestyle changes regarding diet, exercise, and smoking cessation.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: leg numbness, spontaneous foot pain, decreased exercise tolerance, cold feet, thigh pain

Symptoms that never occur with peripheral arterial disease (pad): calf pain from an injury, thigh pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Shin Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Where is your shin pain exactly?
  • Do you run for exercise or sport?
  • Is your shin pain dull or sharp?
  • Are you currently completing or have you completed military training?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your shin pain. These questions are also covered.

Shin Pain Quiz

Shin Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced shin pain have also experienced:

  • 8% Shin Lump
  • 6% Swollen Lower Leg
  • 4% Lower Leg Pain

People who have experienced shin pain were most often matched with:

  • 60% Tibial Stress Fracture
  • 20% Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)
  • 20% Shin Bruise

People who have experienced shin pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 29% Less than a week
  • 25% Over a month
  • 22% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Shin Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your shin pain