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Experience a stabbing pain in tibia bone while jogging. What is the cause, should I continue jogging?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
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I started jogging in mornings, 2 weeks back. Since then everytime I jog, I experience a stabbing pain in my tibia bone. This pain starts shortly after I start jogging but subsides in a short while after I stop. However, the tibia bone and the lower leg muscle do pain a little even later if I press them. Can you please tell me what could be the cause for this and if it would be safe to continue jogging?
Posted Thu, 20 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

From the information you have given, I think the most likely cause of your pain is tendinitis of your lower leg. Commonly called XXXXXXX splints. This is one of the most common running injuries. It occurs when your calf muscles put a lot of strain on your tendons and they become strained and inflamed. This condition can be made worse by running on hard surfaces such as concrete and also by stiff running shoes.

To help the pain you could apply ice to area 3 times a day and after a run. To speed up recovery you could consider reducing the amount of running you do then gradually increase your distances after about 2 to 4 weeks of relative rest.

Any exercises that strengthen the lower leg muscles will help. For pain relief, consider taking paracetamol and/or ibuprofen.

If these measures don't help then a podiatrist may recommend special insoles to control over-pronation of your feet. Ultrasound may also help.

In the meantime, to maintain your fitness, consider swimming, walking or cycling as low impact exercise should not worsen these symptoms.

I hope these suggestions will be of help to you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dr K A Pottinger
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experience a stabbing pain in tibia bone while jogging. What is the cause, should I continue jogging? 12 hours later
Thanks for your reply Dr. Pottinger.
I will cut down on the run time for now and include more brisk walking. I did try applying ice couple of times since I read your response and I can already feel some reduction in soreness. Can you also recommend some exercises to strengthen my lower leg muscles or point me someplace online where I can read about those? You see, I am targeting to be marathon ready within the next 4 months but now am not sure if I would be able to do it in the given time frame without first doing something about these weak muscles first :-)
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 4 hours later
Thank you for your further query.
Here is some information on exercises that I would recommend. I think your target for a marathon in 4 months is still a possibility. It largely depends on how your symptoms respond in the next few weeks.
XXXXXXX Splints Solutions:

1. Wear proper fitting shoes: Choosing a shoe that is suited for you foot type based on gait, cushion, arch support, fit and sport will help decrease the risk of injury. Also, be sure to change your shoes every 3-6 months or every 500 miles.

2. Ice the affected area: Once you feel the achiness in the front of your legs apply ice 4-6 times a day for approximately 15 minutes to decrease inflammation of the shins. Be sure to protect the skin by placing a cloth or wrap between the skin and ice.

3. Active rest: Rather than avoiding physical activity all together, try non-impact exercise such as biking or swimming.

4. Stretch: Tight calf muscles are contributing factor when it comes to XXXXXXX pain. Stretch your calves, with these great moves below to loosen up your muscles.

The Stretch: Toes up, Heels down

Benefit: to strengthen the anterior tibialis (front portion of lower leg)

What you need: a sturdy wall or door you can lean against

How to perform: To strengthen the anterior tibialis, stand with your heels at the wall. Place the left heel at the same distance as the right toes and then place the right foot to be in line with the left. Slowly lean back so the buttocks and shoulders are against the wall. From here, gently lift the toes toward your shins (dorsiflexion). Hold this for a count of 5 and then slowly release the toes to the floor. Repeat this 10-15 times. As you begin to build up strength, you can increase your holding count t to build endurance and strength.

Safety concerns: Make sure to lean against a sturdy wall or surface area and lower toes to the floor if pain is present.

The Stretch: Calf Stretch (for gastrocnemius and soleus muscles)

Benefit: Stretching your calf muscles help decrease the pain of those suffering from XXXXXXX splints.

You'll Need: A sturdy wall or door you can push against with your upper body

How to do It: To stretch the gastrocnemius, which is the bigger of the two muscles, stand facing a wall with one foot about a shoulder's width in front of the other. Keep your back leg, the one you are stretching, straight and a slight bend in your front knee. Push against the wall with your hands until you feel a stretch through your back calf.

To stretch the soleus, you can stay at the wall. Keep the same stance you started with for the 1st stretch. In order to reach the soleus, you must place a slight bend in the back knee. This will help relax the gastrocnemius and stretch the soleus. Try to stay upright in the bent-knee position with both heels on the floor. Hold each of these stretches for 30 seconds, with 3 sets on each.

Safety concerns: Use a sturdy or stable wall to push against. Keep front knee over the ankle.

I hope these exercises help you and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
I wish you all the best with your training and the marathon in 4 months.
Dr K A Pottinger

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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