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Best Treatment for Shin Splints

Updated on June 4, 2010

Many runners find relief from shin splints by using compression wraps, such as the McDavid Shin Splint Support, which redistribute the impact of running across the entire leg allowing them to keep training.

Shin Splints treatments range from simple, easy to do, at home procedures to complex medical procedures and much of this depends to what extent the injury has progressed.  Most people will obey their bodies when they experience the excruciating pain running up their shin.  However, if you don't want to take the time off to recover, there are a number of different treatment options that can get heal shin splints fast.  Below are some the best treatments for shin splints.

Shin splints are mainly caused by the repeated use of the muscles in the shin that are attached to a thick membrane called the periosteum.  This membrane is constantly being tugged whenever you extend and lift your toes.  When you run too much, the membrane can be peeled off of the bone.  This is the cause of that awful pain.

So What are the Best Treatments Already?

First things first, you're going to have to lay off the running for a bit.  How long depends on how bad the shin splints are.  You should be able to still get the cardio you need by cross training: try biking, swimming or stationary exercises.  And if it still hurts, stop doing it.

Secondly, there's a lot of value in the generic ice and rest advice.  If you can ice your shins for about 10 minutes at a time, twice an hour you will be able to relieve some of the inflammation that is your body's natural response to injury.  Taking advil or aspirin will help with the inflammation as well.

If you're one of those stubborn athletes that have this internal drive to keep going and it just can't be stopped, you can try a Shin Splint Compression Wrap.  These are neoprene wraps that remove the pressure on the shin and distribute it evenly across the leg.  The good ones will be adjustable in multiple areas so that you can change the support depending on the location of your injury. 

Chronic Shin Splints Injury

If shin splint is a chronic issue, take a look at how you run.  If your toes are pointing outwards while you run it could be that your tibia is over pronated which is putting a lot of stress on the periosteum.  If this is the case you could try

A) getting better shoes.  Some shoes are specifically designed to correct bad form.  You should find a running store or visit a podiatrist.  They can work with you to find what you'll need.

B) spend the money and get some orthotics.  These inserts will be custom fitted to your foot and can cost a bit if you don't have insurance, but they'll last a lifetime and you won't have to worry about your shins hurting any more.

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