Shin pain, medically known as shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome, is best treated with rest, according to Medical News Today. Most doctors recommend two weeks of little to no strenuous physical activities. Light activities, such as swimming, cycling or walking, are allowed based on doctor's recommendations.
Aside from rest, other treatments for shin splints include over-the-counter analgesics and applying ice packs, according to Medical News Today. Raising the affected leg and regularly applying an ice pack helps to reduce the swelling. For treating pain, nonprescription analgesics such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can help.
Wearing elastic bandages to compress the affected area is another way to treat shin splints, reports Healthline. While shin splints don't often require surgery, if the pain is severe and the injury involves compartment syndrome, surgery to repair the fascia or the thick tissue surrounding muscle groups may be required. Surgery is also recommended if a muscle has been torn from the shin bone and requires reattachment.
Patients can avoid getting shin splints by wearing proper footwear, using arch supports, choosing low-impact exercises or adding strength training to workouts, according to Mayo Clinic. Engaging in a sport that puts less impact on shins and strengthening the muscles with toe raises and leg presses greatly reduces the chance of getting shin splints as well.