Frequently Asked Questions About Shin Splints

FAQ

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  • Shin splints are recurring, but each case is different for people who have them
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with shin splints, it’s important to immediately limit physical activities to help the affected leg heal

Q. What do shin splints feel like?

A. The pain caused by shin splints is generally described as sharp and razor-like, and can occur during and after exercise. Touching the affected area can cause the pain to worsen as well.1

Q. How can you tell if you have shin splints?

A. The main indicator of shin splints is pain in the shin area. It may manifest after exercising and can appear in specific areas, such as the front or back of the affected bone. Tenderness and soreness along the inner side of your shin bone may appear as well.2

Q. How do you get rid of shin splints?

A. There are several ways to get rid of shin splints. One of the first things you can do is to simply rest your affected leg, especially if you’re a runner. If you want to maintain peak physical fitness while you heal, consider taking up a low-impact sport, such as swimming or cycling.3 Within a few hours to a few days of rest, you will be able to feel improvements.4

Another way of getting rid of the pain is by using cold therapy. Apply an ice pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes, four to eight times a day, depending on the need.5 If you need to do important errands, using a shin sleeve or compression device can help lessen the pain while you move. A massage can help your muscles relax as well.6

You can visit the Treatments page to discover more ways to help get rid of your shin splints.

Q. How long do shin splints last?

A. Shin splints are recurring, but each case is different for people who have them. Depending on the activities you do and how soon you are able to treat the pain, shin splints can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days at the most.7

Q. How long does it take for shin splints to heal?

A. If you’ve been diagnosed with shin splints, it’s important to immediately limit physical activities to help the affected leg heal. You will need around two to four weeks of rest, but walking is OK as long as you don’t strain yourself. Once the pain is gone, slowly resume your activities and gradually increase the intensity to return to your optimal level. All in all, it can take anywhere between three and six months to heal. Do not rush into your sport because you can injure yourself again.8

Q. How do you use KT Tape on shin splints?

A. If you’re not familiar with KT Tape, it’s a fitness product made from either cotton or synthetic fibers. It’s designed to help provide pain relief to the affected muscles while you’re exercising. This is particularly helpful for athletes.9

To use KT Tape on your shin, simply point your foot downward to straighten the leg, then apply a full strip lengthwise on the shin, starting from the ankle. Afterward, take a short strip and apply it crosswise on the point of pain, then apply another short strip crosswise below the point of pain.10

Q. What’s the difference between a shin splint and a stress fracture?

A. A shin splint is usually confused with a stress fracture because both conditions can cause pain in the lower leg. However, the difference between the two is how they occur. In shin splints, the pain is caused by stress on the shin bone and its surrounding connective tissues.11 Stress fractures, on the other hand, are caused by tiny cracks on the shin bone.12

MORE ABOUT SHIN SPLINTS

Shin Splints: Introduction

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin Splints Symptoms

Shin Splints Causes

Get Rid of Shin Splints

Types of Shin Splints

Shin Splints Treatment

Shin Splints Exercises

Shin Splints Prevention

Shin Splints Diet

Shin Splints FAQ

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