anyone else? pain in shin tendon (extensor hallucis longus) from dorsiflexion

I have been training for my first marathon for 4 months now, and I have been an avid fan of Vibram 5 Fingers since for at least 3 months, logging around 250 miles in them.  I've had no uncommon problems until recently. 

I am experiencing a sharp pain in what I believe is my extensor hallucis longus tendon as I dorsiflex after a footstrike with my left foot.  The pain is not in my foot--it is 4 inches above my foot in my shin, not right at the tibia, but less than an inch toward the outside.  As I dorsiflex my foot, I feel the once dull, now increasingly sharp pain.  After today's long run, I feel the pain even while walking. 

This happened after running 16 and then 18 miles on consecutive Saturdays, and after today's 8.5 miler.  It initially began this past week after my 18 miler.  It may be my body's way of telling me to take a break, but I'm wondering if anyone else is familiar with this injury, and what they did to treat it.  I'm going to do the obvious (RICE method, ibuprofen, specific stretches, birdseed rehab).  Is this a common injury among the VFF community? 


  • Classic way too much too soon.
  • My question is related to my specific injury, which I don't think is "classic."  I haven't read of anyone else out there with this issue, which is why I'm digging around.

    For what it's worth, I'm a former D1 track and field athlete, and adjusted to the Vibrams in about one month.  I ran 9 hard miles my fifth day of owning them.  So I'm not sure that 3 months later this injury is a classic case of "too much too soon."

  • I'm no where near as good of a runner as you, but I had some initial soreness in that area when I first started out in VFFs.  It may just be overuse.
  • I had pain in the exact same area for several weeks. I thought that it would just go away on it's own, but i noticed that every time i did strenuous exercise it would come back. I ended up deciding to take the month of December off in order to give my body a break to heal up. After about a week to a week and a half of not running and icing my shin at night the pain in my shin tendon went away completely and now I am having no problems at all. I would recommend taking a week or two off of running and just icing the off and on for an hour a day and i think it will heal up like mine did. Good luck on your running!
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