Patient: Hi. I’m a 19 year old male who is about 2 and a half months away from going into the USCG. While I’ve been waiting, I’ve been getting into shape and losing weight primarily by running and swimming. I started running 2 weeks before my physical in order to lose weight to meet USCG standards. Each run was a 2 mile jog with an aprox. time of 13 min, everyda. Before this I was running very little. after two weeks I stopped running when I had to go out of town for my physical. When my physical was taken 2 days later, they had us perform various motor control tests and stretches including walking on our heels, rolling our ankles, etc. The day after, the inner side of my left leg (about where my shin ends and calf begin, about halfway down the leg) began to hurt on and off at random times, usually when I would walk on that leg. After a few steps the pain would subside, and would come back later. I have no problems running, but my legs hurt on the walk afterwards. Today, a week after my physical, I used a treadmill, eliptical, and ran a short sprint with no pain. When I was walking back to my hotel room, the pain came back. I pressed on my shin and was able to cause pain (on a scale of 1 to 10, I say or 5) in a tiny but specific spot on my leg. However, about 5 minutes later after pacing mt room, the pain was more spread out and less intense. After going for a good swim, the pain was gone, both during walking and by pressing on my shin with my leg. When I got to my room, it started again. I can’t go to the doctor for another week as I am out of state and very busy, and it’s not painful enough to consider an emergency. Iwould like to know if it is possible that this could just be shin splints or even a pinched nerve, or should I be ready for the possibility of a stress fracture.
Doctor: Hello,Thank you for your medical query at AskTheDoctor.comI understand your concern.I have reviewed your history and the pain in the specific spot does not sound like shin splints. So it could be a stress fracture or pinched nerve. You can try an analgesic like Tab. Diclofenac twice daily, if the pain subsides it is mostly a stress fracture, while, if the pain persists it is due to a pinched nerve, which will get better gradually.You should get an x-ray done for a conclusive diagnosis.Hope this was helpful,Regards