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Taping Shin Splints

Taping Shin Splints

Shin splints are a sometimes-inevitable part of an athletic life. Read on to know more about taping techniques to alleviate their effects...
Rutuja Jathar
Shin splints are a motley of various painful conditions of the shinbone. They induce muscle pain, inflammation around the shin, tendonitis, and stress fractures. Pain just above the ankle is the biggest symptom of shin splints. Most of the time, shin splints tend to occur after a session of rigorous exercise or a dancing session. The person might not feel the pain when it starts, but it emerges as soon as the movements stops. Athletes and dancers are prone to be afflicted by this condition. Taping shin splints correctly is one of the better ways of alleviating the pain and minimizing the chances of aggravating the damage.
Taping Techniques
Shin splints can cause pain along the whole shinbone, or to certain overstressed parts of it. For instance, one can feel pain deep in the back of the leg, at the front of the leg, or on the sides. Minor cases of shin splints can be effectively cured by taping.
Lateral Taping
This method is practiced to reduce the pain at the sides of the shinbone. This technique of taping shin splints involves wrapping the tape around the back of the leg and inside the ankle. Bring the tape to a 45 degree angle up to the mid calf region. You need to repeat the same action four more times. Make sure to have four wraps; all the wraps must be slightly overlapped by the next one.
Longitudinal Arch Taping
Longitudinal arch taping supports the arch of the foot and reduces stress on the shinbone. Place the tape near the big toe, and start wrapping it in an outward direction, which is towards the baby toe. Continue the process under the foot and finish the wrapping at the starting point. Make sure to have four wraps, with all the previous wraps being slightly overlapped by the next one.
Anterior
Anterior taping eases shin splint's pain in the front part of the leg. Anterior taping goes in exactly the opposite direction of lateral taping. For anterior taping, start at the front of the ankle, and go around the back of it in an outward direction. Bring up the tape to 45 degrees and repeat the wrap four more times. Make sure that all the previous wraps are slightly overlapped by the next one.
Combination Taping
As the name suggests, this method involves a combination of either lateral and anterior or lateral, anterior, and arch taping shin splints. This technique provides better support to the arch, and adds to the comfort level. Make sure to make four wraps, and all the previous wraps must be slightly overlapped.
How to Tape Shin Splints
Use a sports tape, and make sure that the leg is totally hairless before you start taping.
  • Bend the leg, and extend two pieces of the tape along the shinbone. Make sure that it starts at the ankle and ends just below the knee.
  • Place a few small pieces of the tape diagonally across the first two pieces of the tape. Make sure that the entire front part of your shin is covered with the tape.
  • Add two more pieces on the diagonally placed pieces of the tape, to ensure that all of them stay in place for a longer period of time. Now add the final layer by placing the tapes horizontally across the front part of the shinbone.
Kinesio Taping
Kinesio tape is supposed to be the best for taping shin splints. There are various brands of kinesio tape available in the market, but the key is to learn the proper technique for using it, irrespective of the brands.
Along with the kinesio tape itself, you may also need a duct tape and a pair of scissors.
  • At first, stretch your leg and point the toes outward. Now place a rounded piece of tape on the spot that hurts the most. Take two 6-inch pieces of the tape, and place them above and below the centerpiece of the rounded piece of tape.
  • Take an 18-inch piece, and wrap it around the leg. Start wrapping at the top of the foot and then move around the perimeter of the leg as well as under the foot arch. Secure this wrap with the duct tape.
It is important to use a waterproof tape, so that you can keep it in place for a few days, to get the maximum results. It is also important to consult a physiotherapist before applying any techniques of taping shin splints on your own. Remember that taping can be a complementary cure, but you will also need a large amount of rest, recuperative exercises, and appropriate medical intervention to extinguish the pain completely.