woman running cation home remedies for shin splints

15 Home Remedies and Tips on How to Get Rid of Shin Splints

There is no denying that the pain of shin splints can bring your running to a standstill. Knowing how to get rid of shin splints is essential in order to get you moving again. We’ll present 15 home remedies and tips below, but before we do, let’s look at what causes them.

Shin splints are typically the result of one or more causes:

  • Flat feet;
  • Weak muscles in thighs or buttocks;
  • Inadequate flexibility;
  • Extreme force on the shins.

Shin splints are more common whenever the leg muscles and/or tendons in are tired. As a result of excessive force muscles swell and the increased pressure against the shin bone leads to pain and inflammation.

These 15 remedies and tips on how to get rid of shin splints will work, but they are not all inclusive. In severe cases, you might need to consult your health care provider. We’ll begin with 10 tips to help you prevent or cure shin splints and then give you 5 remedies to get rid of the pain if you already have them.

15 Home Remedies and Tips on How to Get Rid of Shin Splints

Don't Push Through the Pain

The adage, “no pain, no gain,” doesn’t apply to pain from injuries. It especially doesn’t apply to shin splints.

What to do:

  • Pay attention to the signals your body is giving you.
  • Learn the difference between fatigued muscles and injury pain.
  • Rest, or at least, decrease your workout intensity while you're nursing shin splints.

How it works:
By decreasing the stress, you decrease the inflammation and pain and avoid the risk of a more serious injury.

Provide Support to Your Shins

Providing support to your shins is one method of how to get rid of shin splints. There are three common methods of providing support.

What to do:

  • Properly tape your shins with 2.5cm or 1 inch non stretch zinc oxide tape.
  • Apply an elastic bandage to your shins starting just above the ankle and continuing upward to just above the knee.
  • Wear a neoprene or compression sleeve over your lower leg.

How it works:
Taping, applying an elastic bandage, or wearing a neoprene sleeve, which fits snugly over the lower leg provides comfort through compression to reduce inflammation and through support to the muscle tissues.

Better shoes

Just like good tires on your car help it perform better, the right shoes for your sport or workout can do wonders to prevent shin splints.

What to do:

  • Change your shoes every 350 to 500 miles of use, depending on wear.
  • Make certain that you have the proper support for your type of foot, especially if you have flat feet.
  • Consult with a professional where it comes to your footwear.

How it works:
By properly supporting your feet and keeping your feet in proper alignment with your lower leg, you decrease your chances of getting shin splints.

grey insoles for shoes

Insole Support

Insole support is a major secret in how to get rid of shin splints. Flat feet and other abnormalities can be corrected.

What to do:

  • Purchase footwear that properly provides insole support.
  • Consult with a podiatrist, chiropractor or other professional who can fit you with an orthotic device to correct the abnormality of your foot.

How it works:
Correcting foot abnormalities like flat feet, pronation, or supination make you much more likely to avoid shin splints.

Stay off of Concrete and Stone Surfaces

Hard surfaces are a major contributor in causing and exacerbating shin splints. Do your best to avoid them.

What to do:

  • Run on forgiving surfaces like a running track, crushed gravel or grass.
  • If you must run on a harder surface, make it asphalt, which is much more forgiving than concrete or cobblestone.

How it works:
Because harder surfaces don’t give, your body takes the beating and that beating begins in your feet and lower legs.

Cross Train

If you can’t afford to lose a workout, use other types of workouts or cross training as a means of how to get rid of shin splints.

What to do:

  • Move your workout into a swimming pool two or three times a week. Water will help cushion the blow and offer additional resistance to your running.
  • Or use cycling, stationary bikes, elliptical equipment, steppers, ski simulators and other devices to duplicate your conditioning without the impact on your shins.

How it works:
Cross training is a beneficial way to not only continue your conditioning without doing further damage to your shins, but it can also help increase blood circulation and promote healing to your shin splints.

Don’t Run on Hills

Since running up and down hills is a major contributor to the development of shin splints; don’t do it. If you must run hills for conditioning purposes then make use of these tips.

What to do:

  • Cross train on machines that can simulate hills if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Run up on aluminum or wooden bleachers which have more give to them, but walk down.
  • Run up hills on grass or in sand, but walk down.

How it works:

The impact on your foot when running downhill is what typically does the most damage to your shins.

Stretch Properly Before Running

Stretching properly before running is essential for preventing all sorts of damage, but stretching before, after and between your workouts is even more important as you work on how to get rid of shin splints.

What to do:

  • Lengthen your calf muscles by leaning against a wall, rising up on your toes and then pressing your heels to the floor 10 to 15 times.
  • Kneel on the floor with your toes and knees together, and your toes pointed backward. Lean backward until you feel the pull on your shin muscles. Hold it for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Do several reps of these stretches before, during and after your workout.

How it works:

Maintaining flexibility in your calf and shin muscles helps reduce the risk of shin splints and can help to relieve the pain if you already have them.

Start Your Workout More Slowly

Quickly starting and stopping during athletic events is a major contributor to shin splints. Slow things down a little bit and don’t rush into your workouts.

What to do:

  • Warm up by starting out at a walk and gradually increasing into a sprint and gradually back your speed back down to a walk.
  • Do cross training conditioning or warm up to make certain that your lower legs are in optimum condition before adding the stress of hard starts and stops.

How it works:

Smoother transitions and better conditioning can reduce or eliminate shin splints for athletes whose sport requires them to make abrupt starts and stops.

Adjust Your Running Form

Running form has an enormous impact on shin splints as well. Fixing your running form can help you avoid shin splints.

What to do:

  • Study the anatomical positions of your body when you’re running and learn to run in proper alignment.
  • Learn to regulate the length of your strides so that you neither over-stride or under-stride.
  • Correct opination and supination through exercise and/or orthotic devices.

How it works:
Being anatomically correct when running reduces the impact on the lower leg.

woman getting a foot massage

 

Massage Therapy and Foam Rolling

Massage therapy and foam rolling are a great way to relieve the pain and help reduce the inflammation of shin splints.

What to do:

  • Using a glycerin based oil, massage your calves in a continuous downward motion, pulling the larger muscle toward the ankle.
  • Using a foam roller, by placing the roller on the floor. Position so that your calf muscle is on top of the roller. Move back and forth allowing the roller to massage your calf muscle.

How it works:
Massage prevents and alleviates inflammation and pain. It breaks up the adhesions between muscles and makes them more supple.

Ice

Ice is a steady standby in the battle of how to get rid of shin splints.

What to do:

  • Freeze water in a paper cup.
  • After your work out, tear off a portion of the paper and rub the affected area with the ice.
  • As the ice melts, tear off more of the paper to expose more ice.

How it works:
Ice is a tried and true method of reducing inflammation and pain.

Pineapple

Pineapple is a delicious and effective way of reducing and relieving inflammation.

What to do:

  • Consume pineapple as a part of your daily diet or drink natural, sugarless, organic pineapple juice or make your own juice.
  • Even better, don’t throw away the husks of the pineapple. Boil them in water for 45 minutes to an hour before following the above directions.

How it works:
Bromelain is an easily absorbed enzyme found in pineapples that helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Turmeric

This highly potent herb is easy to come by and does wonders for the pain and inflammation of shin splints. There are two methods of using it.

What to do:

  • Consume turmeric as a regular part of your diet, take it in capsule form or drink it as a tea.
  • Mix powdered turmeric with coconut oil and black pepper to make a thick paste and massage it into your swollen shins.

How it works:
Research has reported that turmeric is as affective at relieving pain and inflammation as ibuprofen.

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement

Many studies have discovered that shin splints might go beyond being merely a soft-tissue injury and might be connected to tibial stress fractures.

What to do:

  • Consume a calcium and vitamin D supplement in an amount equal to or in excess of 200% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) on a daily basis.

How it works:
Supplementing calcium and vitamin D can help your body heal from stress fractures.

milk products with calcium on a table

Wrapping It Up

Shin splints don’t have to hold you back from being fit or enjoying your favorite sports and activities. If you’re suffering from them, make use of the 15 different home remedies and tips on how to get rid of shin splints and get right back into the action.

Images taken from depositphotos.com.

HRS Editor

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