Physical Stress
July 27, 2023

Shin Splints Stretches: The Best Way To Relieve Pain

Dr. Ben Dyer
Dr. Ben Dyer
soccer players showing their lower legs or shins with knee high socks and shin savers tackling a soccer ball

What are Shin Splints? 

Shin splints are a common condition among athletes, particularly those who participate in sports that involve running and jumping. It is an overuse injury that causes pain and tenderness in the lower part of the leg, usually along the shin bone (tibia) or in the muscles that run alongside it. The pain can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by swelling and inflammation. 

What Causes Shin Splints?

The pain is usually due to overuse, especially when there is a sudden increase in the intensity or duration of physical activity. The three leading causes of shin splints include overtraining, poor footwear, and weak muscles. 

1. Overtraining 

This occurs when the body is not given enough rest and recovery time between workouts. This can cause a buildup of inflammation and cause tension in the muscles and tendons that surround the tibia. 

2. Poor Footwear 

This can also be a factor in developing shin splints. Shoes that lack cushioning and support can cause unnatural tension on the shinbone, leading to pain and discomfort. 

3. Weak Muscles 

This can contribute to shin splints because if your muscles are weak, they cannot  absorb the shock of physical activity. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the tibia can be beneficial in preventing shin splints.

Top Exercises For Pain Relief

If you are dealing with shin splints, there are some exercises you can do to help relieve the pain: 

1. Calf Raise

One of the best exercises for shin splints is a calf raise. This exercise strengthens the calf muscles and can help take pressure off the shinbone. To do this exercise:

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. 

Step 2: Slowly lift your heels off the ground and hold for a few seconds, then lower back down.

Step 3: Repeat this movement for several repetitions.

2. Toe Taps

Another great exercise to help with shin splints is toe taps. This exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the shinbone. To do this exercise:

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Step 2: Lift one leg, bending at the knee and tapping your toes to the ground. 

Step 3: Alternate tapping each leg for several reps.

3. Heel Walk

The heel walk is an effective exercise to help strengthen the muscles and tendons in your legs. To do this exercise: 

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Step 2: Take a step forward while only putting your weight on your heels. 

Step 3: Walk forward in this manner for a few reps, then switch to walking backward.

Chiropractic Care To Alleviate Pain From Shin Splints 

Taking a holistic approach to treatment is crucial to provide relief from shin splints. A great way to start is to visit a chiropractor to evaluate the area thoroughly. Chiropractic care focuses on the alignment and function of the musculoskeletal system, which can help reduce inflammation and alleviate the pain associated with shin splints. Additionally, the chiropractor may recommend specific exercises and stretches to help improve the strength and flexibility of the area, as well as provide lifestyle recommendations to help avoid future flare-ups. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, shin splints are a common condition among athletes caused by overtraining, poor footwear, and weak muscles. To relieve the pain, calf raises, toe taps and heel walks are some exercises that can be done. To provide long-term relief, it is important to take a holistic approach and visit a chiropractor for a thorough evaluation and treatment. You can effectively manage shin splints and alleviate pain with treatments and lifestyle changes.


Khan, M., & Jain, A. (2020). Shin splints: Symptoms, causes and treatments. Indian Journal of Orthopaedics, 54(3), 351-357.

Leland, A., & Smith, M. (2020). Shin splints: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment. American Family Physician, 101(3), 175-179.

Gustin, S. (2019). Shin splints: What they are and how to treat them. Runner’s World, 54(7), 42-45.

Vernon, H., & Cleland, J. (2014). The role of chiropractic care in the treatment of shin splints. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 13(2), 107-113.

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