In most cases, you can treat shin splints with simple self-care steps:
- Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort — but don't give up all physical activity. While you're healing, try low-impact exercises, such as swimming, bicycling or water running.
- Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to the affected shin for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to reduce pain.
Resume your usual activities gradually. If your shin isn't completely healed, returning to your usual activities may cause continued pain.
Jan. 25, 2014
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed July 19, 2013.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 19, 2013.
- Callahan LR. Overview of running injuries of the lower extremity. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 19, 2013.
- Shin splints. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00407. Accessed July 19, 2013.
- Shin splints. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/sports_injury/shin_splints.html?qt=shin splints&alt=sh. Accessed July 19, 2013.