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
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, it’s 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 don’t 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.
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.