The shin is always a good target for being hit and a direct blow can be very painful. Sometimes the bone itself can be damaged as there is not much protection from muscle or fat over the shin bone to absorb a direct blow.
Usually the cause of a shin bone injury is the result of a kick from a football tackle or from a blow from a hocky stick or even a wandering raquet.
Bruising and swelling gradually appear and if the bone is damaged the swelling is usually greater and the bone will feel painful to the touch.
More lower leg exercises can be found on our lower leg exercise page.
Apply ice immediately to the shin. If you can crush the ice this will mould around the area more efficiently. Use a thin towel betwn the ice and shin to avoid skin burn. A firm bandage should be put on from foot to knee but with soft padding around the injured area.
If you think that the shin is more than bruised and that the shin bone may be damaged then an x-ray will be needed.
If the shin bone is only bruised then continue to apply ice every two to three hours for the first two days and no weight should be put on the leg, also the leg should be elevated, that is lay with the leg above heart level to help drain and fluid from the damaged area and speed he healing process. After two or three days the swelling and bruising should start to reduce and if you gently cover with ice twce a day it wil help with circulation.
Once the swelling and bruising has fully disappeared sport can be started again.
When you start sport again always wear protection. The risk of further will be higher and if the bone has been damaged it can take up to eight weeks to heal. It is also important not to resume sport before the shin is fully healed as you will run the risk of having a stress fracture which is a crack in the bone.
Always consult your Doctor before performing any exercise or treatment. All information on the common sports injuries web site is provided as general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any sports injury.