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How To Treat Shin Splint

Daniela Wilkinson explains how to self-treat shin splints with sports massage.

Tibial stress syndrome is the pain that you get in the bone at the front of your leg, after a rigorous physical task. There are two kinds of shin splints - anterior and posterior shin splints.

Anterior shin muscles are located at the front of the shin, and work to lift and lower your feet. The posterior shin muscles work on the medial side of your feet when you walk or run. Pain in the posterior muscle can cause pain in the sides of your shin bone.

Shin splints are hardly pleasant - it is a burning ache around the shin bone, sometimes accompanied by cramps in the nearby muscles. And when it starts, it can put a dent in all your training goals for a good couple of weeks.

Shin Splints and Sports Massage In London

Sports massages are well known to be one of the many ways to treat the horrid shin splints - this may involve cryo and thermotherapy, a massage by a professional who can assess the extent of damage targeted exercises, and even a self-massage.

A sports massage in London, whether done by a sports therapist or yourself, is just sustained pressure and friction along the length of your muscles. Sports massages focus on the areas of the body that are overused and susceptible to stress - the ministrations of a sports massage increase the elasticity of the muscles and make them more flexible, reducing the risk of injury.

Combined with stretches and shin splints exercises, a sports massage can do wonders. All you need to remember is to avoid the shin bone. A sports massage might make the pain and inflammation worse.

Shin splints, when left untreated, only worsen and can even lead to fractures from the stress - so start the treatment for shin splints as soon as possible after the injury.

Benefits of Sports Massage for Shin Splints

A sports massage is a great way to heal shin splints and can come with additional benefits as well.

  • When massaging, you target the knots, lumps, or bumps in the muscle and encourage better circulation.
  • Better circulation speeds up the healing process decrease swelling and reduces pain.
  • Tight calf muscles are the primary cause of shin splints - and sports massage relaxes those tightened muscles.
  • Another cause of shin splints is the inflammation in the tissue that attaches the shin muscles to the bone - this is usually the result of overuse of the muscle. A sports massage undoes the adhesions.

How to Perform Self Sports Massage

Sports massages are simple enough to do on your own, at home, before or after a workout. While we would always recommend a professional, we understand it is not possible for everyone, shin splint sports massages are simple enough to be done at your own time and expense.

  • Light Strokes: Lightly massage and stroke both sides of your shinbone and try to cover as much bone as possible. Avoid the swollen part of the muscle closest to your bone.
  • Work Your Way Up. Start the ministrations from the lower half of your leg and move upwards towards the knee.
  • Undo the Knots: Add extra pressure to undo any muscle knots that you come across. This removal of bumps and knots helps the blood flow and quickens the healing.
  • Increase The Pressure: 3 days into the massage, you will feel an exponential drop in the tension in your lower legs. And when that happens, you can add more pressure to the massage.

How Often Should You Massage?

If you have been diagnosed with shin splints, a 10 minutes massage every single day for about three months is the full recovery time. If you combine the massage with ibuprofen, heat, and cold therapy, the pain will become tolerable, and the tightness will reduce in a couple of days.

When to Avoid Massage

Only perform the sports massage when you are completely sure that the diagnosis is a shin splint. Two conditions mimic the shin splint pain: a stress fracture and compartment syndrome - make sure you have the pain labelled right; otherwise, you can end up causing severe damage to your legs.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • WILKINSON, D. (2020) How To Treat Shin Splint [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Daniela Wilkinson is a writer with many years of experience in the health and fitness industry. She enjoys writing compelling content about physical and mental health, sports injuries, and the latest advances in fitness research.