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What are the Different Types of Shin Splint Remedies?

By Lindsey Rivas
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several shin splint remedies a person can try if he or she is having pain from shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome. The most basic treatments consist of resting and comforting the shins. Other shin splint remedies include applying ice or heat, stretching the lower leg muscles, and massage therapy. A doctor can also prescribe pain medication if necessary.

One of the most important factors for recovery is for the person to rest the aching leg muscles. In order to stay fit, non-weight bearing exercises like swimming or cycling can be done. Other shin splint remedies one can try for pain relief are to wear shock-absorbing shoe insoles or to wrap bandages or athletic tape around the shins.

At the onset of pain, using ice packs can be one of the best shin splint remedies. Placing ice packs on the sore muscles can reduce inflammation in the early stages of shin splints. They should be used for up to 20 minutes at a time, three times a day, until the pain lessens. After about a week, using heat instead of ice on the shins can be soothing. Heat will also increase blood flow to the front of the leg to aid in the healing process.

Further shin splint remedies include stretching the lower leg muscles, such as the tibialis anterior muscle along the shin, the calf muscles, and the Achilles tendons. For example, a person can stretch the tibialis anterior by sitting on the floor with his legs straight out and together. He can have a partner push his feet down toward the floor to stretch the leg muscles.

Also, one can stretch his calf muscles by standing on a step with the balls of his feet with the heels hanging off the edge. He can then drop his heels below the stair edge by bending the ankles. The stretches should be held for 30-45 seconds at a time.

Another possible shin splint remedy is massage therapy. One example of a massage technique for a person with shin splits is to begin the massage session by kneading the calf muscle from the ankle up to the knee. This will relieve pressure and improve circulation to the front leg muscles. After that, the person can cup his shin with his palm and push down toward the ankle, slowly moving his hand up from his ankle to his knee. Massage therapy should be used no more than 30 minutes a day to avoid aggravating the painful area.

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