The most common cause of shin pain while running is shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome or MTSS. Shin splints happen when there is inflammation or tears in the muscle and/or tissue around the shin bone, which in turn causes pain below the knee including the front and/or sides of the shin.
Shin splints are predominately caused by increasing mileage too much in a short period of time. Over-pronation, flat feet, low bone density, a higher body mass index and weakness in the hip and core muscles can also cause shin splints.
As with all injuries, if you experience any type of pain, especially pain that progressively gets worse, immediately stop running and see your doctor. Only a medical professional can verify for certain that the pain you are experiencing is shin splints or if perhaps it is something else.
If your doctor decides that you do have shin splints, he may suggest stretching the area, icing, taping or wrapping the area or a combination of the above along with rest or switching to low-impact cross-training activities such as swimming until the pain subsides.
Shin splints can be a chronic injury so it is better to catch it early. Running through the pain may also put you at risk for more serious injuries such as a stress fracture. For more information about shin splints as well as how to treat it, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide here.
With all that said, there are other possible reasons for the burning feeling in your shin as well. Other possible and more serious causes of burning shin pain include nerve injuries such as peripheral neuropathy or sciatica, or compartment syndrome, a condition where pressure builds up in a muscle.
However, these conditions will need to be properly diagnosed by a doctor. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are also experiencing any other symptoms such as tingling or numbness of the area or if the area feels warm when touched.