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You are here: Home > Pain & Injury Center > Sports & General Info > Can I Use Compression Socks for Shin Splints?

Can I Use Compression Socks for Shin Splints?

The term shin splints is used to describe pain felt in the front of the lower leg, usually as a result of exercise. Although pain in that area can be caused by other conditions such as compartment syndrome or a stress fracture (which is why you should always get medically assessed) the milder condition of medial tibial stress syndrome is often the reason for the painful symptoms. Medial tibial stress syndrome is the second most common running injury. Runners who suddenly increase the length or intensity of their runs, or start running on a harder surface, along with basketball players, tennis players, and other athletes are susceptible.

Too much pressure on the shins inflames the layer of connective tissue that covers the surface of the shinbone (periosteum). Medical advice is to avoid running until all symptoms have subsided (at least two weeks), and then to gradually resume. Icing the sore area, or foam rolling the shins can help, and strengthening the muscles in the legs to help support the lower leg structure is recommended.

In order to minimize the chances of developing shin splints, its important to wear high-quality running shoes with insoles that absorb shock. Flat feet can cause medial tibial stress syndrome, so if you suffer from that condition, use arch supports in your shoes.

Compression socks can help with the symptoms of shin splints. The elasticated fabric provides gentle support for the lower leg, while adjustable straps over the tendons and muscles reduce pressure on the shin. The compression supplied by the socks holds the bones, muscles, and tendons tightly together so the vibration of the leg on striking the ground is lessened.

Compression socks tend to be thin and lightweight, although styles and brands can vary, but generally they are comfortable to wear both during exercise and afterwards.

They dont help all users, but enough athletes claim that compression socks have been extremely effective in reducing the symptoms of shin splints to warrant giving them a try. Long-distance runners find them particularly effective. People report that wearing them not only during exercise, but also after exercise and while sleeping greatly improves recovery time from the exertions of the exercise.

Compression socks vary in the amount of compression they provide, so you might have to experiment to find the right level for you, but as they are relatively inexpensive this should be possible, and they might be just what you need to avoid the pain of shin splints.

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