Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Roller Skate? – How to Fix It (2021)

Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Roller Skate?

Do your shins feel like they’re on fire from roller skating? Do you feel annoyed by your sore shins? Do you want to fix this problem as soon as possible?

Well, don’t worry, because you’re at the right place. In this article, we will provide you with all the advice to get rid of that pesky pain.

You might feel like you’re the only one suffering from this problem. Well, you’ll be surprised to know that shin splints and other shin injuries happen more frequently to roller skaters than you would imagine. And it’s not just roller skaters. Ice skaters, rollerbladers and runners have to deal with it too.

Now you know that you’re not alone, so instead of worrying, let’s focus on fixing the problem ahead.

Why Do My Shins Hurt When I Roller Skate?

Go See a Doctor or a Therapist

Before everything else, you should visit a doctor or a therapist at your local hospital. I recommend this first, because it’s a safe bet. A physical therapist is well educated in muscle and joint pain and injuries. They’ll probably know what to do.

You should also opt for a good, well-reputed therapist for treatment. Nowadays, a lot of therapists are not as skilled as they are made out to be. In lots of cases, the so-called therapy can actually make the injury worse.

What if You Can’t Visit the Therapist?

We know the deal. It’s quarantined so you can’t visit the therapist. Or maybe you don’t have any hospitals or clinics near your residence. Maybe, you just don’t want to go to a therapist because that’s a lot of work.

Well, whatever your reasons are, in this article, we’ll help you as much as we can to figure out your injury and get rid of the pain for good. So keep reading.

Where is the Shin Located?

The shin is located in the lower part of your leg. In scientific terms, the shin is also called tibia, is one of the two bones that form the lower leg, and connect the ankle joint and the knee joint.

What Kind of Shin Injury Do You Have?

The first step is to figure out where and what kind of pain you have. Does it pain in the shins, in the knees, or in the calves? Is the pain sharp or subtle? Do you get bruises? Those are all variables that can affect the cause and treatment.

Ask yourself the following questions while figuring out your pain.

  1. Does it hurt in your shin or some other part of the leg like the knees or the calves?
  2. Do you feel pain in the lower shin or upper part of the shin?
  3. Is the pain sharp or subtle?
  4. Do you get pain while roller skating, after roller skating or both?
  5. Do you get bruises or calluses?
  6. How long does it hurt?

After asking yourself the above questions, you might have a general idea of what kind of pain you have. Understanding the injury and it’s cause is the first step to an effective treatment.

Warning! This Article Cannot Cover EVERY Case of Shin Injury

There are probably thousands of you out there who suffer from shin pain. Everybody has a different body. Everybody has different circumstances. So, everybody’s pain is different.

It’s really difficult to figure out the kind of shin pain and it’s cause on your own. That’s why I recommend visiting a therapist first.

But you should not lose all hope yet. This article is to help the majority of shin pain cases that occur from roller skating. There’s a high probability that the cause and treatment for your shin pain will be covered in this article.

General Causes and Preventions for Shin Pain from Roller Skating

In roller skating, a lot of your body parts can hurt. It may be your feet, your knees, your calves, your thighs, your hips, your shoulders, or even your back. When you fall, you might get bruises, cuts, muscle or joint injuries. That’s the natural way things go when you pick up a new sport.

There can be a lot of causes behind your shin pain. A few common causes are listed below:

Cause 1: Hard, Uncomfortable or Unstable Boots

Shin pain occurs a lot during roller derby. The reason is that roller derby boots are hard. A lot of roller skate boots are really hard and uncomfortable. Your shin can hurt a lot if you don’t pick roller skates with the right boot. The following things might be wrong with your boot.

  • Your boot may be too small for your feet.
  • Your buckle may be too tight putting stress on your shin.
  • Your buckle may be too loose making your feet and lower leg lean in different directions putting pressure in awkward positions.
  • Your shoe laces might be too tight blocking the blood flow.
  • Your boot might not have good ankle support.
  • Your boot shape might not be suitable for your feet.
  • You might be skating without your socks.
  • Your boot might be made of really hard material.

These are all the problems your roller skating boots might have that might be messing up with your shin.

Prevention

You can try the following things to solve your boot problem.

  • Get roller skates with the right size and a comfortable fit.
  • Get roller skates with a softer boot and with a good ankle and leg support.
  • Adjust the tightness of your buckle.
  • If your buckle is not cooperating, replace your buckle altogether and install a new one.
  • Wear thick socks while roller skating.
  • Adjust the tightness of your shoe laces.

There you go. Your boot is fixed. If you still undergo shin pain, there might be some other cause.

Cause 2: Your Trucks are Too Loose

Loosening your trucks means engaging your leg and hence shin muscles more. When you loosen your trucks too fast without giving your muscles a chance to develop, it will hurt.

You should try taking things further slowly.

Prevention

Just tighten your trucks a bit, and adjust them right, depending on your situation. If it still hurts, you could try other methods of relieving shin pain like resting and icing.

Cause 3: Excessive Vibrations and Rough Surfaces

Shin and other types of injuries may be caused by skating on rough surfaces. The excessive vibrations and shocks can really hurt in the long run.

The vibrations inflict small micro injuries from time to time and can cause pain before you know it. The injury isn’t usually serious and goes away in some time. However, no one wants to feel unnecessary pain, right?

Prevention

There are two ways to prevent this.

  • Roller skating on a smoother surface – Smoother surface means less vibrations
  • Opting for outdoor roller skating wheels – These wheels are really effective in absorbing shocks and making your skating smooth even on rough surfaces.

Cause 5: Tight Turns

Like I said before, a lot of your body parts hurt when you pick up a new sport. Your muscles and bones are not trained for unfamiliar movements causing injury and pain.

Roller skating is no different. When you take larger turns, it feels natural and does not put a lot of stress on your shins. However, sharp turns require a lot of work for the shin muscles.

It usually doesn’t cause serious shin pain and is bearable. So, in most cases, there’s no need for worry.

Prevention

However, if your bones are weak for some reason, the pain might get really bad. In that case,

  • You might want to take a short break from roller skating.
  • You might want to give up on tight turns for some time and skate in a straight line.

Cause 5: Running and Working out on Roller Skates

A lot of people do roller skating as a form of workout. Roller skating is an extremely beneficial sport that engages the leg muscles and core without putting too much pressure on the knees.

So it’s preferable for some people to opt for roller skating instead of running.

However, speeding on roller skates may hurt your shins if you’re not used to the workout yet.

Prevention

To prevent this, you can,

  • Push through the pain if it’s not serious
  • Pick up another sport like cycling or swimming
  • Use a foam roller to relieve the pain
  • Ice the hurting area
  • Do different stretches to relax the muscles (More about this later in the article)

If you want to keep roller skating, I recommend determining if the shin injury is serious or not. If it’s serious, don’t push through the pain as it can lead to an even worse injury.

Cause 6: Your Muscles are Not Used To Roller Skating

You may hear a lot of newbie roller skaters complaining about shin pain. The reason is that their muscles are simply not developed enough.

It’s not a cause of immediate worry as your muscles will get developed to the movements quickly.

Prevention

If the pain is really annoying, you can do the following to relieve it.

  • Ice the affected area
  • Rest between skating sessions
  • Roll your muscles over a foam roller
  • Stretch your shin muscles correctly

It’s pretty straightforward. Just perform the above listed things and your shin pain will be relieved in no time.

Cause 7: You Have a Prior Medical Condition

This is a highly unlikely scenario. However, if you have a medical condition in your leg, it will definitely hurt in the shins.

To roller skate, you have to engage your shin muscles. Having a prior medical condition means your leg muscles are already stressed. And on top of it, you make them work even more.

So naturally, your shins will hurt.

Prevention

Here, prevention depends on the seriousness of the condition. If the condition is really serious, you should see a therapist, or take a break from roller skating entirely. That judgement is up to you.

However, if the injury is not serious enough, you could consider roller skating carefully. If roller skating is your life and you don’t want to part with it, you could:

  • Stay away from really dangerous tricks
  • Not make your turns too tight
  • Not sprint too much
  • Not roller skate on really rough surfaces
  • Get roller skates with better support for your shins
  • Roller skate carefully and make sure not to injure your shins even more

Don’t give it too much thought. Learn some fun light tricks. Jam to some party music and hang out with your friends. You’ll have a lot of things to laugh about and it’ll be worth it.

Don’t get too discouraged and do what you want. Just be careful and don’t let a measly injury hold you back from life.

What if You Have Shin Splints?

Shin splints like any other injury can be mild or serious. There are cases when pushing through the pain by shin splints caused the patient to retire from physical activity for a long time. While in other cases, they heal on their own and don’t cause too much of a ruckus.

Anyone can get them. Roller skating and other sports do increase the chances of someone getting shin splints. However, even a minor activity like walking up and down the stairs can cause them. It doesn’t matter what you do, you can get them anytime, anywhere.

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are really common among all kinds of athletes. They’re also called medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).

Shin Splints occur when there is repeated stress on the bones, muscles or joints of the lower leg that prevents them from naturally healing and restoring themselves to their initial state.

Roller skating, being an activity that involves lower legs, is a very common cause of shin splints.

What Does It Feel Like to Have Shin Splints? / Symptoms

To figure out if you’ve shin splints, you’ve got to go to the therapist. However, following are some symptoms of shin splints.

  • Ache in the front part of the lower legs, between the knee and the ankle. The pain may be in the lower leg or the upper leg
  • Pain during roller skating or other forms of exercise
  • Numb or weak feet
  • Mild swelling if present
  • The pain is usually pin pointed at one spot.

How to Treat Shin Splints?

This is how you treat shin splints.

  • Go see a therapist. You don’t have to do all the work.
  • Rest for two weeks minimum.
  • Keep your legs in a position where it doesn’t hurt.
  • Ice the aching aea.
  • Take pain killers.
  • Wear elastic compression bandages.
  • Massage your shins lightly with foam rollers.
  • Do light stretches to strengthen calf and hip muscles.
  • Use KT tape to reduce pain and increase circulation.

There, that should heal your shin splints so you can get back to skating.

Well that went from roller skating to physical therapy real quick.

Stretches to Heal Shin Pain and Shin Splints

Here are some stretches you can use to relieve your shin pain. You can do these stretches before or after roller skating.

Stretch 1:

  • Take a strap and put it around the toes of the aching leg.
  • Pull the strap lightly towards yourself so that you feel a slight stretch in the calves.
  • There should be some tension but not pain.
  • If you feel pain, loosen the strap a bit.
  • Do this for 30 seconds.

Stretch 2:

  • Turn  yourself over so that your shins and top of the feet are resting on the ground.
  • Hold yourself up in an arched position with your arms.
  • Do 5 sets of 15 seconds or 3 sets of 30 seconds.

Stretch 3:

  • Place a foam roller on the ground.
  • Roll the part of the hurting part of the shin on the foam roller so that you feel a slight pressure.

Stretch 4:

  • Take a strap or a resistance band and place it around your toes.
  • Push your toes outwards, hold them for a second, and then pull them back in.
  • Do these 2 sets of 10 or 20.

Stretch 5:

  • Drag the toes of the aching foot lightly on the ground moving from back to front.
  • Feel the tension but stop if there is pain.
  • You can make the drag longer as you progress.

Stretch 6:

  • Walk on your heels and feel the light tension.
Conclusion

If you try everything above, and your pain still doesn’t ease up in two weeks, make sure to take a break from roller skating and go see your doctor, as the injury is probably something that needs medical attention.

If you want more content about roller skating, check out our guides.

Happy skating!

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