If you’re an active runner, you might have experienced the nagging pain that is shin splints. Not only can this frustrating injury occur from running, but they can also develop through any vigorous activity that lasts for a long period of time. Whether you’re a runner or a dancer, shin splints can affect anyone that’s active on a daily basis. If you’re looking for how to get rid of shin splints, you’ve come to the right place.

Although this injury is painful and an overall nuisance, it’s important to treat them accordingly in order to prevent further injuries. From rest and treatment to stretching and ice, there are multiple methods for healing shin splints that will get you up and active in no time. Keep reading to learn 10 ways to get rid of shin splints in the most effective way. 

1. Take Time For Rest and Relaxation

Switching from an active lifestyle to a sedentary one isn’t an easy transition. But in order to heal your shin splints, taking time to rest and rejuvenate is essential. When you let your body rest, you give your muscles time to recover. Your muscles are already exhausted and overworked, making any more vigorous activity a recipe for disaster.

In order to do properly recover, it’s vital that you avoid any activities that cause you pain or discomfort. Once your muscles experience any minor injury, they go into overtime to heal and recover, making any opposition to the process a ticking time bomb. But, not all activity needs to be put to a stop when in recovery mode. If you are still looking to get some form of exercise in while you recover, try low-intensity activities such as swimming. 

2. Switch to Supportive Shoes

The shoes you wear can either make or break the support your feet get on a daily basis. When it comes to treating shin splints, finding the best supportive footwear for you is essential to a successful recovery. The best way to go about this daunting task is to consult a professional. Most of the time, shoe store employees are ready and willing to help you make the best purchase available. Talking to a professional allows them to be able to get accurate measurements and look at your arches.

Ensuring you wear supportive shoes is one of the best ways on how to get rid of shin splints. If you find that supportive shoes just simply aren’t enough, there are extra add-ons that you can buy to make them even more comfortable. For instance, supportive insoles have been linked to stopping shin splint pain, and you can even get them custom made for your feet. Other options for a more comfortable pair of shoes include compression socks and compression wraps, which both help prevent inflammation and swelling.

3. Foam Rolling Frenzy

One of the most common and helpful treatments for shin splints is foam rolling. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, foam rolling can be explained as an effective tool that helps relieve muscle pain, reduce inflammation, and help you relax. This method is an easy, at-home way to work towards the recovery of your shin splints.

In order to practice foam rolling, all you’ll need is a foam roller. You can purchase anywhere from Walmart to Amazon, and most of the time, they’re sold at a reasonable price to help you get the best bang for your buck. In order to roll out your shins, practice the following steps:

  • Start in a position on your hands and knees, with the foam roller underneath your chest.
  • Next, bend your right knee towards your face, placing your right shit down onto the foam roller.
  • Then, simply roll up and down on your shin. If you find that after a few minutes it becomes painful, you may need to take a break before continuing.

4. The Power of Ice

This next method is one that you can find right at home in your freezer. Using ice to help relieve the pain of shin splints is an age-old method that provides the reduction of swelling and inflammation. If you find the ice is too cold for comfort, try wrapping the bag of ice in a towel so it’s not directly on the skin.

In order to properly use ice to your benefit, ice your shins for 20-30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days. But, if you find the pain goes away before that amount of time, there’s no need to continue. To maximize the benefits of this method, elevate your shins on a chair or pillow while you ice them to further reduce inflammation and pain.

4. Anti-Inflammatory Painkillers

The recovery process for shin splints isn’t a pleasant one. The fact is, you may experience a great deal of pain before you feel completely better and ready to get active again. Fortunately, there are ways to help ease the pain you may experience, one of them being painkillers. While they may not completely heal your shin splints, they will help numb the pain while you use other methods to speed up your journey to recovery.

For best results, try an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), or even the non-anti-inflammatory option acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce shin splint discomfort. Remember, these medications are no replacement for treating shin splints, but they will help reduce your pain until this injury subsides. 

5. Stretch It Out

It’s no secret that there are numerous benefits to stretching in your everyday life. When it comes to treating shin splints, the benefits still reign true. When you stretch out your calf muscles and the muscles surrounding them on a daily basis, the stretching may directly help your shin splint pain.

Some of the stretches that you can try to include a seated shin stretch, calf raises, toe stretches, and forearm planks. But before you take on these types of stretches, be sure to research and review every step to make sure you’re comfortable with the process. If you find any of these stretches to be painful, it’s crucial that you stop stretching. 

The Bottom Line

With time and effort, shin splints can go away and you can get back to your active lifestyle. But in order to avoid reinjuring yourself, it’s important to keep a positive mindset and have patience throughout your journey to recovery. When you’re looking for how to get rid of shin splints, it all boils down to ensuring you take proper care of yourself. If you find that your shin splint pain isn’t going away, consult your doctor as it may be a more serious injury. Your doctor can perform an examination as well as possibly an X-ray to get down to the cause and provide the proper treatment methods for the problem.