Q:

How do you heal shin splints?

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Quick Answer

Shin splints often heal on their own, but resting the legs, applying ice and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help to speed things along, states WebMD. Other treatments include orthotics, range-of-motion exercises and physical therapy.

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How do you heal shin splints?
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Full Answer

Resting the legs gives shin splints time to heal, notes WebMD. Icing the shins can speed healing. To get results, patients should ice the shins 20 to 30 minutes, every three to four hours, for two to three days. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, can also help to ease pain and swelling from shin splints. However, because these medications can increase risk for ulcers and bleeding, patients should only use them on an occasional basis. Wearing a neoprene sleeve over the injured leg provides support as the leg heals.

Using orthotics in shoes, such as inserts, may also help to heal shin splints, according to WebMD. Orthotics are available in stores, but custom-made orthotics are also available. These devices support the arches of the feet, which helps to reduce pressure on the shins. A doctor may also suggest range of motion exercises or physical therapy. Physical therapists can identify muscle weaknesses or errors in running mechanics that may contribute to the development of shin splints.

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