How to Relieve Shin Splints


Shin splints can plague new runners with agonizing pain, sometimes halting training before it’s barely begun. Consider that while running, the force of up to three times a person’s body weight is thrust on to the shins, ankles and feet with every step. Although ice will temporarily relieve aching shins, consistency is the key for any long term benefits.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice blanket used for coolers (Carefully cut in half)
  • Ace bandages (2)
  • Ibuprofen

How to Relieve Shin Splints

  • Take ibuprofen. It’s an anti-inflammatory and goes to work to reduce swelling. Note: Acetaminophen products such as Tylenol will help ease the pain, but it isn’t an anti-inflammatory to address swelling.

  • Place a thin towel or cloth on your shins to protect your skin.

  • Place half of the ice blanket on each shin.

  • Wrap ice to shin with one ace bandage for each leg. They should be wrapped snug enough to act as compression, but obviously not uncomfortably tight to cut off circulation.

  • Remove ice after 20 minutes. If you have the time, give your cold shins a 10 minute break and then repeat the icing process for another 20 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • The correct shoes for your feet can make a big difference. If you have a local running shoe store, take advantage of their professional fitting service and purchase a pair of shoes that are recommended for your specific foot type. Also, until your shin splints are better, stay away from running on hard surfaces such as cement.
  • Do not place ice blankets directly on bare skin.

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