How to Wrap Shin Splints With Athletic Tape

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Shin splints are common in athletes.
Shin splints are common in athletes. (Image: football image by razorconcept from Fotolia.com)

Shin splints usually occur at the beginning of a new sporting season. They involve localized pain and discomfort while running or jumping such as in track, basketball and volleyball. The posterior tibialis muscle and long flexor muscles of the toes become swollen, causing pain. Shin splints can be acute or chronic in nature, and one of the most common causes is overuse. Muscle fatigue is a common contributor to acute shin splints, while overuse injuries contribute to chronic shin splints. Treatments vary by individual, but ice massage and taping are known to provide some pain relief.

Shave the shin and calf of the affected leg. A clean surface ensures the tape sticks to the skin.

Sit with the knee bent and the foot flat on the table. This allows the calf muscles to relax.

Apply the first of two anchor strips vertically on the inside of the calf. The second anchor strip goes vertically on the outside of the calf. Both strips should be placed midcalf.

Place a strip of tape at the bottom of the first anchor. Run the tape behind and around the leg at an angle in a spiral pattern so that it ends at the bottom of the second anchor. Cut the tape. The tape makes an X in the center of the shin.

Repeat the spiral taping pattern until you reach the top of the anchor strips. The tape should overlap slightly.

Secure the strips of tape by placing two new anchor strips over the top of the tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to pull the calf muscle toward the tibia while taping.
  • Do not apply the tape too tightly around back of the ankle.

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