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Front of the Shinbone/Calves Pain
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Front of the Shinbone/Calves Pain

Hello,

I am a soccer player, however recently I have experienced a lot of pain/exhaustion on the front part of the calves when I play outdoor. I never seem to get this problem when I play indoor on a flat surface with sneakers. When I play outdoor, after a very short period of play (around 10 minutes), the front part of my shinbone seems to be completely exhausted at such a point it hurts. It's not really my calves because I can tell the feeling of fatigue seems to come from the front part. It seems like its a burden staying up on my legs, I can feel the fatigue constantly but it seems to get worst when I am walking quickly. I don't understand why is it only when I play outdoor. I get this feeling sometimes also when I am walking rapidly in my everyday life, plus it nevers bothers me when I play indoor. Could it be my cleats? Socks too tight?

I am slightly flat footed, and the doctor told me it's not necessary for me to get a customized sole. Could this be the problem? Could the lacing on the cleats being too loose or too tight be the problem? It seems that when I removed my shinpads (which are a bit tight) it seems to SLIGHTLY help me.

Please help me, I'm tired of finding myself on the bench and unable to play.
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It sounds like you have several issues going on with your shins.  In your earlier portion of your email you describe a simple shin splint which is tightness of you anterior tibilalis muscle.  This muscle get's very fatigued when you are running on a hard surface with no true support.  Your soccer boots/cleats have very little support or absorption and the outside surface are much harder than indoor surfaces.  This combination is probably triggering the shin splint.  Usually simple but yet consistent calf stretching, anterior tibilais stretching and gentle ice massage after play resolves the issue.  As for your second issue of tight shin pads, you should switch to the slip in your sock type.  It sounds like your wrap around pad is increasing you discomfort of your shin splint.  If this type of pain continues for over 6 weeks, you should have a consult with a sport medicine orthopedic in your area who can evaluate you for a possible stress fracture or compartment syndrome.  Wishing you good health, JAG
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