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Experiencing Pain In The Front Of The Lower Leg? This Could Be The Reason

Experiencing pain anywhere in the bottom half of your leg can be very frustrating as it can interrupt with your daily life. The pain in this area can be caused due to many conditions. One of the reasons this could occur is due to tibialis anterior muscle strain.

The tibialis anterior muscle runs down the front of the shin bone (tibia) and turns to the tendons that attach to the inner front of the ankle. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment for tibialis anterior muscle strain that can cause pain in the front of the lower leg.

What is Tibialis Anterior Muscle Pain?

The tibialis anterior muscle pain comes from the muscle located in the front portion of the lower leg and meets the top of the foot. Pain in this area can be mistaken for shin splints. Shin splints pain occurs in the inside of the lower leg or shin. Whereas tibialis anterior muscle pain occurs in the front of the lower leg or at the tendon on the top of the foot.

If the tibialis anterior muscle is injured or overused, it can cause pain.

Causes of Tibialis Anterior Muscle Strain

If you are experiencing pain in the front of the leg and shin, you may have caused trauma to this area. This trauma could be caused by various reasons such as:

  • Sudden injury
  • Overusing the muscles
  • Tear or injury to the anterior tibialis muscle
  • Walking style
  • Arch collapse that can overwork the anterior tibialis muscle

Symptoms of Tibialis Anterior Muscle Strain

If you suffer from the tibialis anterior muscle strain you may experience pain anywhere between the knee down to your big toe.

The symptoms can be felts in the front of the lower leg, ankle, or foot:

·  Burning, cramping, or aching sensation

·  Tightness at the front of the lower leg

·  Pain while walking or lowering foot to the ground

·  Swelling

·  Weakness

Certain activities like walking, running, taking stairs, operating the pedals while driving can cause these symptoms to flare up. The symptoms can be persistent or occur sometimes. It can also worsen depending on the activity you are doing.

If you feel that you are experiencing these symptoms, then consult a medical professional to get the proper diagnosis. This will include a physician performing a clinical examination to determine if it is tibialis anterior muscle strain or some other condition.


If you get a proper diagnosis the medical professional will recommend a treatment plan depending on the severity of the condition. Doctors may also recommend physiotherapy as part of the treatment plan. Here are some treatments that can help:

Rest – Resting is important to heal the strain on the muscle. Avoid doing activities that put more pressure on the anterior tibialis muscle as it can aggravate the injury.

Ice – Using ice in the affected area can help relieve pain and swelling in the affected area.

Orthotics – Orthotic devices can help support your foot and reduce the strain on the anterior tibialis muscle. This is especially needed if you have a collapsed arch that can be putting pressure on the anterior tibialis muscle. Orthotics can help push the foot and remove pressure from this muscle.

Physiotherapy – This treatment can help alleviate the tibialis anterior muscle pain. A physiotherapist can assess your condition and determine the cause. The treatment will include strengthening exercises that can help heal and improve your muscle sprain.

If you are going through this leg and shin pain it is better to get help from experienced professionals so that your symptoms don’t worsen. At Square One Physiotherapy we have an experienced team of physiotherapists who can help you recover quickly and prevent the chances of injury or strain in the future.

You can book a physiotherapy appointment with us here.