What is Canelitis, causes, treatment, remedies and what to do


What is cannellitis?

Canelitis, the name given to medial tibial stress syndrome  or medial tibial periostitis , is an inflammation of the shin bone, the tibia , its tendons or muscles. It is characterized by pain in the shin, especially during physical exercise.

This inflammation is common in athletes who perform activities of repeated impact, such as running, tennis, basketball and football. It can progress to stress fractures.

The pain usually comes from the periosteum, the layer that covers the tibia and makes the connection between muscle and bone. It is he who gets inflamed during cannellitis.

Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome  is not a type of cannellitis, but it is often confused with it, as it can cause a lot of pain in that location. This is because there is an increase in pressure in the compartments covered by the fascia, a kind of fibrous tissue that surrounds all the muscles of the body.

During rest, there are no symptoms in the compartment syndrome. When the exercise begins, the pressure in the compartment increases and severe pain appears. Unlike cannellitis, compartment syndrome may need surgery to open the fascia and relieve pressure.


Cannellitis can be divided into two types, differentiated by the location of the pain in the shin. The symptoms in both situations are the same. The types are:

Canelite anteromedial

In this case, the shin pain is found in the upper part of the tibia, inside the leg, in front of the shin.

Posterolateral cannellitis

Posterolateral cannellitis has as main symptom pain in the lower part of the shin, on the outside of the leg, on the back of the bone.



Caused by excessive physical effort in the shin, cannellitis causes pain in athletes and is among the three most common injuries in runners. There are several causes that can lead to cannellitis. Understand:


Excessive exercise can be too much and injure the athlete’s body. Usually, it is the sudden increase in the load, overtraining , that causes the injury, creating pain and inflammation.

The second main cause of the disease is repeated exercises without pause for the muscles and tendons to recover.

Wrong technique

Running for long periods requires technique. A crooked step caused by lack of running practice can be the cause of cannellitis, as the impact can be poorly received by the body, causing injuries and inflammation.

Anatomical anomalies

Pronated stepping, which is the displacement of the foot and ankles to the inside of the legs, is an anomaly that can cause cannellitis.

Flatfoot syndrome, like pronated stepping, causes a misaligned step, making the impact absorption of each step less efficient. This causes damage to the cinnamon tissue, which suffers from the impacts of running.

Several other anomalies can have the same effect, such as genuine varus and valgus (bent knee), difference in the size of each leg, tibial torsion and femoral anteversion.

Races on uneven terrain

Uneven terrain, full of holes, can force muscles and tendons in unexpected ways that can cause injury.

Racing on too hard terrain

Running is a sport of repeated impact. At each step, the legs need to absorb the impact of the body against the floor. If the terrain is very hard, absorption is hampered by the greater impact.

Concrete is six times  more severe than asphalt for the tibia. This, in turn, is three times harder than the dirt. Grass is one of the softest areas for shins and greatly reduces the risk of inflammation.

Unsuitable shoes

Running shoes have an anatomical design, suitable for the protection of the body during exercise. Some shoes do not have this advantage and can be harmful to the body if used for effort.

Worn or simply unsuitable shoes for running can be the cause of cannellitis.

Rare causes

There are some rarer causes for cannellitis. Are they:

  • Fractures;
  • Infections;
  • Compressive fibular nerve syndrome;
  • Compressive syndrome of the popliteal artery;
  • Venous thrombosis;
  • Fascia changes;
  • Neoplasia (tumor);
  • Muscle spasms.

Running terrains

There are several types of terrain, each with its advantages and disadvantages for running and safety. Some of them are:


Rigid and level, asphalt is the most recommended terrain for long runs. It is quite regular, which makes it difficult to get injured despite the rigidity of the terrain.

This same stiffness allows the use of force, since the tread absorbs little impact, which is completely used for the race.

It is recommended to use sneakers with cushioning for this floor, which relieves the impact. A strengthened musculature can also alleviate the effects of stiffness in the joints and bones. Asphalt is not recommended for those who are recovering from an injury.


Concrete has the same advantages as asphalt: Regular and rigid. His problem is that it is much more rigid than asphalt, so it is easier for injuries to happen because of the impact that is not absorbed.


Soft, grass is a good option to work your muscles without straining your knees too much. It absorbs much of the impact, sparing the bones and forcing the muscles.

It is not as regular as the asphalt and a hidden hole can cause an injury, as well as the unevenness of the floor.

Rainy days are especially dangerous as the grass, in addition to being deformed, is slippery. Use traction shoes to prevent loss of grip, keeping your feet stable.


Running on the sand requires a lot of muscle because of its high impact absorption, so it is an excellent ground for resistance and strength training, but there is the disadvantage of the huge irregularity.

The sand is extremely soft and moves all the time. It is also not flat, which can overload one side of the body. When running on the sand, always watch out for holes.

Avoid the terrain if you have injuries, as it will cause pain, and prefer to run barefoot when on this floor.

Groups of risk

Some people are more prone to cannellitis than others. Are they:


Due to the effort made routinely, athletes, especially those of impact sports for the legs such as running, or of sudden stops, such as tennis and basketball, are quite prone to cannellitis. The proper technique can help and the more practice the athlete has, the more protected he is from cannellitis.

Military Recruits

Military training requires races from recruits. Just like athletes, routine effort can cause shin injuries, especially if exercise is not accompanied by proper technique.


Dancing is an activity that demands a lot from the legs. If care is not taken, the dancer may suffer from inflammation in the shin.

People with pronated trampling

Pronated footstep is an inward misaligned footstep, as is supine footstep, which is misaligned in the opposite direction. However, only pronation increases the chances of cannellitis.

Flat foot

People with flat feet, whose complete soles touch the ground when the individual is standing, have a crooked and pronounced foot step. This condition favors cannellitis.


After menopause , women lose the bone protection that estrogen provided. This facilitates bone damage and injury, as well as inflammation of the tibia.


Symptoms that indicate cannellitis are:

Sensitivity and pain in the shin

The bone and muscles of the shin are tender. Pain is especially present at the beginning and end of exercises.

Difficulty walking

Pain can arise when walking, which makes activity difficult.

Late pain

There may be pain after  exercise and for hours after exercise.

Weakness in the feet

The feet may be weak.


Swelling is a rare symptom, but it can appear. It is often light.

How is the diagnosis of cannellitis made?


Clinical examination

Performed by an orthopedist, the clinical examination is used to diagnose cannellitis. The doctor will ask about your physical activities, frequency and intensity, in addition to doing a physical exam to look for symptoms and other changes.


X-rays can be used to rule out fractures and other injuries other than cannellitis.

Cannellite have a cure?

Yes, cannellitis is curable . Inflammation can be treated with exercise care, anti-inflammatories and, in some cases, physical therapy.

What is the treatment?

Treating cannellitis involves rest, taking care of future training and reducing pain. The recommendations are as follows:

Cut workouts

In the first phase of treatment, which lasts a few days, complete rest is recommended.

This means that training should be suspended and only after a little recovery should they be resumed, preferably after an appointment with an orthopedist or physiotherapist.

Stretching and warming up

Before exercising, the patient should stretch and warm up, avoiding overloading the shin, in addition to improving the flexibility and strength of the muscles.

Reduce effort

It is also important to decrease the intensity of the training and, in the most severe cases, it may be necessary to stop the training until the health of the tibia is recovered.

Cold compress

Cold compresses reduce inflammation and relieve pain.


Resting and allowing time for the tissues to recover is an important part of the treatment of cannellitis.


In the most severe cases of the disease, physiotherapy may be necessary to recover damaged tissue from the shin.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

They are used to reduce pain and inflammation.

Medications for cannellitis

Anti-inflammatories are used to reduce pain and inflammation and are the medicines indicated by doctors for the treatment of cannellitis. The main non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are as follows:

  • Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) ;
  • Ibuprofeno (Advil);
  • Naproxen sodium (Flanax) .


NEVER  self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Recovery time

The recovery time varies from patient to patient and from case to case, but in general, the improvement of cannellitis occurs in 3 weeks.

When there is a stress fracture, this time can rise to up to 1 and a half months and, in more severe cases of fracture, surgery may be necessary.

Tips for Relieving the Pain of Cannellitis

Here are some tips for relieving pain caused by cannellitis, but remember: symptom relief is not the same as a cure. Seek a doctor to carry out the appropriate treatment.

Apply ice

Lowering the leg temperature relieves inflammation and pain. Use a towel to avoid contact of the ice directly with the skin.

Calf massage

Massaging the calves relieves pain and relaxes the muscles.

Compressive socks

Compression helps with blood flow, decreasing inflammation.

Keep your feet elevated

When at rest, try to keep your feet elevated above the height of your heart. This also helps with blood flow and reduces inflammation.


Following treatment and medical instructions, cannellitis is curable and leaves no sequelae. It may be necessary to be more careful with the intensity of training and to take care that the conditions that facilitate inflammation are avoided.


Ignoring the pain of cannellitis and continuing to train without treatment can lead to serious complications. Are they:


Cannellitis can lead to stress fractures. They are small cracks in the bone that cause severe pain. They can accumulate, leading to a complete fracture of the tibia, which is a much more serious condition.


Pain is a signal from the body that something is changing. Often, she signals a problem and does not go away alone. Furthermore, without treatment, it only tends to get worse.

Performing exercises in pain can lead to other conditions, in addition to further damaging the injured tissue and causing other changes in the step, which can lead to other injuries.

How to prevent cannellitis?

Suitable footwear

Wearing shoes suitable for your type of exercise and stepping prevents injuries to the whole body.


Learning the right techniques for sport maximizes the use of exercise and prevents injuries such as cannellitis.

Avoid exaggeration

Overdoing your training is the best way to get an injury. Respect your body and keep up with it.

Stretching and warming up

Stretching and warming up before and after training helps with the flexibility and strength of the muscles, preventing injuries.

It is important to start with low speeds, when walking, and to gradually accelerate, moving on to trotting and running. The stop should also not be sudden. Slowing down to a walk is important, in addition to cooling down.

Cooling down helps the body to return to its normal rhythm. Walking or jogging lightly for 5 to 15 minutes is enough. It also helps to eliminate lactic acid from the muscles, which causes the pain of exertion that appears after workouts and runs.

Overdoing the exercises can lead to serious consequences. A well-done training is the difference between a healthy body and an injured one. Share this text with your friends so they know about cannellitis and know what can cause it and how to treat it!