Shin Splint Recovery Methods

Shin Splint Recovery Methods

Shin splints can take up to 3-6 months to heal completely, and in serious instances, won’t heal without medical intervention.

Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is caused by the overuse of your shin muscles through exercising too much or too intensely for your body. You may experience pain or tenderness in the inner or outer side of the front of your leg, often affecting your tibialis anterior muscle on the front of your lower leg. Sometimes, the pain can actually originate from the bone itself.

1. Massage

Any massage done in an attempt to relieve shin splint pain should be done by a licensed massage therapist well-versed in sports science massage. The therapist will likely focus on relieving muscular pressure in the shins to aid the shin splints heal in partnership with ample rest.

2. Epsom Salt Bath

More to relieve swelling and pain, an Epsom salt bath can bring some support to the pain related to shin splints and may speed recovery.

3. Rest

The best method of healing shin splints is rest. If your body is injured, it needs time to heal. It is perhaps unfortunate that when you incur a leg injury, you must refrain from exercise. Your rest time will be determined by the severity of the injury and your body’s capacity to recover. Sometimes, treatment may involve bed rest in order to completely heal. You should plan at least one week of rest.

4. Taping Shin Splints

Along the same line as compression, taping shin splints can provide some relief and support. Neither compression nor taping should be viewed as a way to push through the pain, shin splints won’t heal if you don’t allow for the necessary rest from the activities initially causing the condition in first instance.

5. Ice

If your leg is swollen, you can administer ice to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Place an ice pack on the affected surface for around 20 minutes, twice a day. You should make sure and wrap your ice pack in a towel. Your objective is to cool the area, not to freeze it. Using ice uses your body’s physiological response to cold in order to lower your swelling.

6. Compression

Compression sleeves will help you to reduce swelling and increase blood flow. Though these sleeves will not necessarily heal existing shin splints, they will help prevent future shin splints and make runs and other exercises more comfortable.

7. Pain Medications

Apart from the use of ice, you can also take a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These medications will scale down pain caused by swelling and put you on the road to healing shin splints. Be sure and complete the label directions for dosage. The important thing to remember when using either ice or medications is to follow your rest. These measures may temporarily relieve pain making you feel better, yet the actual recovery time will take longer.

When to Look For Medical Care

Commonly, the pain of shin splints occurs when you either palpate the affected area or are actively using your leg muscles. If you advise that you are in uninterrupted leg pain, likewise, plan on seeing your doctor. Rather than shin splints, you may have a stress fracture.

Rest and other medication options should heal your shin splints. If you are not experiencing advance after several weeks of home care, ask your doctor. While your symptoms may mimic shin splints, your condition may be more severe.