Shin Splints Exercises

If you’re a runner, you’ll be happy to know that you can prevent and treat that nagging pain in your lower leg with shin splints exercises, shin splints tape and shin splints massage.

How to Prevent and Treat Shin Splints

Overuse and repetitive stress is usually to blame for shin splints, which is characterised by pain stretching from the posterior / medial / anterior shinbone sometimes all the way to the ankle.

But it’s also possible to get shin splints by walking. Simply increasing your distance or frequency of walks or runs can cause pain.

Rest is the first course of action, but long term stretching and strengthening the feet, lower legs, hips and core with specific shin splints exercises may prevent the condition from returning.

Shin Splints Exercises

You can treat and prevent shin splints with a range of shin splints exercises.

  1. Toe Curls

Crouch down on your knees with your feet together keeping your toes tucked under

  1. Shin Stretch

Sit on your shins with the tops of your flat feet on the floor. Put your hands behind you and gently lean back.

  1. Calf Raises

Stand up on your heels as high as you can for a set of 25 calf raises.

Anterior Shin Splints

If your shin pain increases when lifting your toes up while your heels are on the ground, anterior shin splints are the likely cause. One of the best shin splints exercises for anterior shin splints is to carry out the 2nd exercise listed above, as this will stretch the muscles nicely and release the tension. The pain from the shin splints may easy instantly but should improve more generally over time.

Shin Pain not Shin Splints

Pain in the lower leg can also indicate a stress fracture, so shin pain not shin splints may be something for a professional to diagnose. It’s important to differentiate with a physician such as a sports podiatrist whether your shin pain is due to a more serious injury such as a stress fracture. Sharp pain when you press into the shin can suggest a crack in the bone but a sports podiatrist will confirm with a physical and diagnostic assessment which may include a bone scan.

Posterior Shin Splints

Posterior shin splints will show up as pain on the inside rear (posterior) part of the shin bone. Flat feet can be the culprit for posterior shin splints, which can be treated with the use of custom orthotics prescribed by a sports podiatrist to support and control your feet.

Shin Splints Tape

Can shin splints tape can help speed up your recovery? The shin splints tape is presumed to help relax the affected muscles, relieve pressure and increase support to the foot and lower leg. More research is required in this department.

Shin Splints Tape Method:

  1. Position the foot at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Tape around the lower leg moving around the outside and finishing with a gentle crosswise shin splits tape inside the leg.

Shin Splints Massage

Deep muscles of the lower leg are affected by shin splints which is why shin splints massage can help with soreness and recovery. Tight calf muscles are a common cause of shin splints, so getting a shin splints massage can release that tension. Beyond soft tissue manipulation, shin splints massage may also involve cryotherapy (ice) along the tibia for anterior shin splints. For posterior shin splints, cryotherapy is also possible but more difficult because of the deep posterior muscle placement.

In all, the use of shin splints exercises, shin splints tape and shin splints massage can assist both runners and walkers to get back on their feet after suffering the common complaint of anterior shin splints or posterior shin splints.

sports podiatristKarl Lockett


Shin Splints exercises