How to Treat Shin Splints Safely and Effectively

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  • Treating shin splints involves a combination of various methods to help reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms
  • Once you’ve been diagnosed with shin splints, rest is generally the first treatment recommended to you

Treating shin splints involves a combination of various methods to help reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms. You can try a mixture of the following strategies to help with your condition.

Rest Is Important and Should Be the First Treatment You Do

Once you’ve been diagnosed with shin splints, rest is generally the first treatment recommended to you. It’s important that you minimize movement in your legs until the pain subsides, but you should not completely give up physical activity. If you’re a runner, you can try low-impact activities such as cycling or swimming to keep yourself physically fit without straining your affected leg.1

Taping Your Leg Can Help If You Need to Go Somewhere

If you need to go out or attend an important occasion, you can tape the affected shin muscles to help reduce straining as you move around. To apply the tape, please follow this procedure:2

  1. Start by taping around your Achilles heel to create a foundation, then continue upward in a diagonal direction. You can experiment with the tightness of the tape in the ankle to find out what’s comfortable for you.
  2. Repeat the procedure by taping upward while slightly overlapping the first layer of tape. You will know you’ve done the procedure correctly if you feel pain relief on the affected shin.

Physical Therapy May Be Needed

If your shin splints are recurring, you may need the help of an experienced physical therapist to identify problems in your posture or movement. They will help you correct any mistakes you are currently making, and will help minimize the recurrence of shin splints.3

Avoid Running on Hard Surfaces Temporarily

The type of surface you run on can play a role in developing shin splints. A hard surface, for example, can cause great stress on your shins because the impact is stronger compared to softer surfaces. Consider running on softer surfaces first to help prevent pain from worsening, then gradually reintroduce harder surfaces as your condition improves.4

An Orthotic Insert Can Help Your Running Posture

Certain items can help with your posture to help treat pain, such as an orthotic insert. It is placed into your shoes and works by helping correct the angle of your ankles and legs as you run.5

These Exercises May Help Reduce Pain in Your Shins

Certain exercises can be performed to help reduce pain. You may follow this maneuver:6

  1. Kneel on a carpeted floor with your legs and feet together. Toes must be pointed straight back.
  2. Slowly sit on your heels. Your ankles must slowly push down into the floor and you will feel your shin muscles stretch.
  3. Hold this position for around 10 to 12 seconds, then repeat.

In addition, you can try tracing the alphabet using your toes while sitting down on the floor as a way to stretch and strengthen your shin muscles, or you may alternate walking on your heels for 30 seconds then follow with 30 seconds of normal walking. You can do any these two exercises three times a day.7

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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