This simple shin splints taping technique can help recovery from shin splints pain on the inside of your lower leg (medial tibial stress syndrome).
How to tape for shin splints
Aim of taping
- The aim of this shin taping technique is to reduce pain on the inside of the shin buy supporting the muscles and reducing traction forces over the tibia (shin bone).
- Often shin pain is caused by inflammation of the periosteum (sheath surrounding the bone). Applying tape ‘pulls’ the muscles towards the bone. This helps support them and reduce forces pull on the periosteum.
What tape do I need?
- In most cases, all you need is a roll of 2.5cm nonstretch zinc oxide type sports tape.
- Be aware if you are allergic latex or anything else contained in some sports tape.
- If you are particularly hairy then you may like to use spray adhesive and underwrap. However, you will get the best results applying tape directly onto your leg. Shave the area if necessary.
How to apply shin splints taping
- Apply a strip of tape starting at the front of the ankle, around the outside and underneath your leg in a spiral, finishing on the outside of the upper shin.
- Apply a slight pull on the tape is you pass across the inside the shin. Not to tight, but enough to ‘pull’ the lower leg muscles up towards the tibia (shin bone).
It is important you apply the tape in this direction as applying it in the other direction will support the muscles on the outside of your shin (appropriate for anterior compartment syndrome).
- Next apply a second strip of tape in the same way, slightly higher and overlapping and the first strip.
- Make sure you do not have any kinks or folds in the tape.
- If necessary apply a third strip of tape but this is optional.
When should I apply shin splints taping?
- Taping can be used to relieve shin pain and allow inflamed tissues to recover.
- It can be applied as much as is comfortable in the early acute stages, especially if you have to be on your feet a lot.
- Tape is effective for a short time as it gives or stretches slightly losing its effectiveness. You may need to re-apply every couple of hours depending on your activity.
- Later as you gradually increase training loads back to normal levels you may wish to apply tape just for training runs. This will give some extra support as your tissues become to gradually increasing training loads.