Applying ice to the affected leg, taking anti-inflammatory painkillers and performing range-of-motion exercises are good remedies for shin splints, according to WebMD. It also helps to use commercial or custom shoe inserts to manage arches that flatten when a person resumes a standing position.
Shin splints require ample rest, and they usually heal without medical treatment, notes WebMD. A person can apply ice for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours to relieve pain and swelling. Aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce pain and swelling. Individuals with shin splints may also use a neoprene sleeve for leg warmth and support.
Doctors sometimes recommend physical therapy to detect and treat problems with a person's legs or issues related to running mechanics that likely cause shin splints, states WebMD. Physical therapy helps alleviate pain and boosts recovery period, allowing a person to play sports again.
Shin splints typically result from muscle irritation and swelling due to overuse, stress fractures or small breaks in the bones of the lower leg, weakness in the hips' stabilizing muscles, or flat feet, explains WebMD. Equal flexibility in both legs indicates healed shin splints. Other signs of healed shin splints include same strength in both legs; the ability to jump, sprint or jog without experiencing pain; and normal X-rays that show healed stress fractures.