If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your shins, there’s a high chance it’s been caused by overuse. Fortunately, the good news is that you can prevent this pain and discomfort from troubling you again.
Shin splints are common injuries that occur after long periods of running or walking, or other physical exercise. They usually affect the front part of your lower leg and can cause a considerable amount of pain.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at how to tape shin splints, as well as a few of the other effective treatments. What’s more, we’ll also look to answer a number of the frequently asked questions.
One of the most effective ways to treat and prevent shin splints is to use kinesiology therapeutic (KT) tape. This tape provides compression around the affected area to improve circulation, stabilize the muscle, and reduce pain.
The elastic nature of this tape enables you to carry on with your normal movement patterns, which is incredibly useful if the pain isn’t too bad, and you’re following a strict training program.
It’s also worth noting that you can use KT tape in conjunction with any other healing modalities you might be using.
For the most effective results, it’s essential that you use proper taping techniques. With this in mind, listed below are five important steps to follow when taping shin splints.
Measure The Tape
The first thing to do is measure how much KT tape you need. To do this, sit with your leg outstretched in front of you and hold the roll of tape at the center-top of your foot. Unroll the tape until it reaches just below the outside of your knee, and then cut it.
Attach The Tape
Without stretching your measured piece of tape, peel off roughly two inches of adhesive and stick it to your leg (just below the outside of your knee).
Stretch The Tape
Peel off the rest of the paper and stretch the tape, so it sticks to just beneath the base of your big toe. To avoid the tape becoming unattached at this stage, make sure you don’t stretch it at adhesive points.
Press The Tape
The next thing you need to do is point your toes and apply some light pressure on the tape until it’s flat against your shin.
Add Extra Tape
Finally, cut some additional pieces of tape (roughly the length of the width of your shin) and attach them across your shin bone. This stretches the KT tape laterally over the most painful areas.
Other Treatments Of Shin Splints
In addition to using KT tape, there are lots of other things you can do to treat shin splints and prevent recurrences in the future. Listed below are four of the most popular methods.
Don’t rush straight back into your normal routine, make sure you take plenty of time off to give your body time to recover. Once you feel you’re ready to return to physical activity, start slowly and then gradually build the intensity back up.
Gently apply some pressure to your lower leg muscles using either your hands or a foam roller. This will help to relieve tension, improve mobility, and boost circulation.
Choose suitable, well-cushioned footwear that provides your body with a good amount of support and shock absorption. As a general rule, you should replace your shoes every four to six months.
Hot And Cold Therapy
To relieve pain, tension, and swelling in your lower legs, you can take a hot shower or use a sauna/steam room. Alternatively, ice your muscles straight after exercise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Get Shin Splints So Easily?
Your shins are made up of a series of muscles called tibialis anterior (TA), peroneus brevis (PB) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL). These muscles work together to provide stability for your legs when standing upright.
So, when you run, walk, or stand for an extended period of time, these muscles can become fatigued and may start to hurt. This causes them to shorten which makes it more difficult for them to function properly.
Needless to say, the most common cause of shin splints is excessive training volume. So, if you’re someone who has an intense training program, this will increase your chances of having shin splints.
Can You Squat With Shin Splints?
Yes, weight training for the lower body is incredibly important for developing muscle and preventing the occurrence of shin splints. For example, exercises such as calf raises, squats, deadlifts, and controlled lunges are all great to include in your workouts.
How Can You Make A Homemade Ice Pack?
To make an ice pack, simply fill a plastic bag with water and freeze it overnight. Once frozen, cut off one end of the bag and squeeze out any excess air. Then wrap the ice pack around the affected area.
If you have a freezer, you can also use ice cubes instead of water. Simply put the ice cube into a zip lock bag before freezing it overnight. When you remove the ice cube from the bag, be sure to discard the water because it’s not safe to consume.
If you don’t have access to an ice maker, you can buy a portable ice pack machine. It works like a regular ice cube tray, but it produces smaller ice cubes that are easier to fit inside a bag.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, shin splints are an incredibly common issue that lots of runners and athletes have to deal with. If you suffer from shin splints, there are numerous ways to combat it.
Hopefully, after reading the information in this guide, you’ll be in a much better position to treat and prevent shin splints in the future!