How Do You Heal Shin Splints Fast?

Shin splints are the painful condition of the shin bone (front bone of the lower leg) triggered by exercises and strenuous activities. It is usually felt during exercises. It is caused by overdoing exercises, especially running or repetitive weight-bearing activities such as basketball, tennis, etc. Its symptoms are pain and occasional swelling on the shin bone in between knees and ankles. It is not a serious condition and may improve well when rested well and the provoking activities are avoided. However, if the strenuous activities are continued, it may result in severe pain.

How Do You Heal Shin Splints Fast?

If shin splints are not allowed to heal properly, strenuous activities are continued, then, the condition gets worse and severe. So, it is necessary that shin splints should be healed properly.

The ways by which, shin splints can be healed fast are-

Rest– pain is the prominent symptom of shin splints. It is better to rest properly to heal them. One should take rest for two to three weeks to relieve pain, resting means avoiding all the activities especially postponing exercising routine that triggers pain. For, example, one should avoid walking on hard surfaces like concrete. One should walk at a slow pace for short intervals. Less strenuous activities like swimming, biking can be adopted as they don’t cause stress on the shin.

Ice Application– applying ice packs made from crushed ice on the shin 20 minutes 4-5 times a day can help to relieve the pain.

Calf And Shin Compression– shin supports such as a calf compression wrap, elastic bandage on the shin, knee-high compression socks and leg sleeves assist a lot in the healing of the shin bone. It also relieves pain caused by shin splints.

Painkillers– painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can be taken to manage pain and swelling in shin splints. But, it should be taken after the approval of your physician.

Heat Therapy And Massage– when pain and swelling are settled down, then, heat wrap for few minutes for two to five days will assist in the healing process. Deep muscles and tendons of shin muscles improve a lot.

Stretching And Strengthening Exercises– it is necessary that the shin muscles should be strengthened to avoid another shin splints. It can be done by toe raises and stretching and strengthening exercises of the shin. It is more beneficial when these exercises are performed under the supervision of physical therapists.

Arch Supports And Right Footwear– during the recovery process, the rightly fitted footwear and arch supports should be selected to provide support to the shin. Several research studies support the use of orthotics very beneficial to prevent shin splints.

Shin splint is a condition marked by infrequent pain in the front of the lower leg at the shin bone. The pain lies in between the knee and ankle in the lower leg. This condition is also called medial tibial stress syndrome. It can appear in both the legs. The pain is not always present and is not severe all the time. The shin splints patient feels the following symptoms-

  • Pain after the start of exercise or physical activity
  • Pain felt at the region of the previous fracture
  • Pain centered in between knee and ankle at the shin bone
  • Dull and achy pain in the beginning which may become sharp and severe if the strenuous activity is not ceased.
  • It may affect both the legs
  • It sometimes causes localized swelling of the bone
  • Muscle pain
  • Numbness and weakness in the feet

In severe cases, the shin may appear hot and extremely painful even at rest.


Shin splints are the painful condition of the shin bone. It usually does not need medical intervention as it may improve by itself. Rest, painkillers, ice application and other measures discussed above can help a lot to tackle the condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2018

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