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17 Powerful Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Shin Splints

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17 Powerful Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Shin Splints November 22, 2017

One moment you are jogging, working out, or maybe just exercising. And the next moment, you experience a sharp and unbearable pain shooting up your lower leg. Have you ever faced such a situation that left you wondering what went wrong? Well then, the answer is shin splints. Shin splints is a commonly used term for the pain that occurs in the front part of your lower leg. This condition, though painful, can be treated easily and effectively right at home. Are you looking for a little more information on this condition? Read on to find more about shin splints, the types, causes, symptoms, and some of the best home remedies to treat the condition.

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What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are one of the most common exercise-related problems that cause severe pain in your shin bone – the large bone in your lower leg. Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, it is often a result of overworked muscles, tendons, and bone tissues of your shin bone. It is a common occurrence in athletes, but anybody is susceptible to it depending on the level of physical activity they are involved in.

The pain in your shin can also be due to the following reasons:

  • Stress Fracture

Repeated stress to the shin bone may result in a small fracture. This fracture, which is an overuse injury, is referred to as stress fracture.

  • Compartment Syndrome

Your lower leg is made of several muscle compartments, which can become inflamed due to overuse or direct impact injury. This condition is usually referred to as compartment syndrome, and it could also be one of the reasons for the pain in your shins.

Shin splints, as you know by now, are the result of overworked and inflamed muscles. Let us now see what the common causes of this condition are.

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Common Causes Of Shin Splints

  • Excessive amounts of force or pressure against your shin bone
  • Analytical abnormality such as flat foot syndrome
  • Improper training
  • Running on uneven terrain
  • Using worn-out shoes
  • A sudden increase in the duration or intensity of exercising

These are some of the common causes that can trigger shin splints. Shin splints are also accompanied by mild to moderate symptoms. They are as listed below.

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Symptoms Of Shin Splints

The most common symptoms are:

  • Lower leg pain
  • Pain while exercising
  • Pain on one or both sides of the shin bone
  • Muscle pain
  • A feeling of tenderness or soreness along the inner leg
  • Weak and numb feet
  • Swelling in the lower leg

If you experience any of these symptoms, chances are that you have developed shin splints. But fear not, because the use of some simple ingredients available right in your kitchen can help you get rid of this condition for good. Read on to find some of the best and natural ways to treat shin splints.

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How To Get Rid Of Shin Splints Naturally

  1. Hot Or Cold Compress
  2. Cherry Juice
  3. Hot Tubs With Essential oils
  4. Massage
  5. Ginger Root
  6. Vitamin D
  7. Epsom Salt
  8. Pickle Juice
  9. Almonds
  10. Apple Cider Vinegar
  11. Turmeric Powder
  12. Pineapple
  13. Valerian Root
  14. Coconut Oil
  15. Cayenne Pepper
  16. Milk
  17. Banana

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17 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Shin Splints

1. Hot Or Cold Compress

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You Will Need

A hot or cold compress

What You Have To Do
  1. Take the hot or cold compress and place it on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this every 4 hours, for about 5 days.

Why This Works

Both hot and cold compresses can help in alleviating the pain and inflammation caused by shin splints (1).

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2. Cherry Juice

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You Will Need

1 glass of unsweetened cherry juice

What You Have To Do

Drink a glass of cherry juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this daily, especially before an intense workout session.

Why This Works

Cherries contain compounds called anthocyanins that exhibit antioxidant properties. They can also help reduce inflammation and hence, can be used for treating shin splints (2), (3).

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3. Hot Tubs With Essential Oils

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You Will Need
  • A tub of hot water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of any essential oil (lavender or eucalyptus oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Prepare a hot bath.
  2. Add about one to two teaspoons of any essential oil to the hot tub.
  3. Soak yourself and relax in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this after every intense activity to help your muscles relax.

Why This Works

While the hot water helps to reduce the inflammation, the essential oil offers calming effects and helps your muscles relax (4).

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4. Massage

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Gently massaging the affected area on your lower leg can help relieve the pain caused by shin splints. For best results, use a warm compress prior to massaging. Warming the muscles will make the massage more effective and relieve the pain and inflammation. Also, it is highly recommended that you get enough rest for at least 4 to 5 days following the injury to speed up your recovery. In addition to this, you can also use a cold compress to decrease the swelling of your legs (5), (6).

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5. Ginger Root

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You Will Need
  • 1 to 2 inches of ginger root, cut into small pieces
  • A cheesecloth
  • 1 bowl of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a full ginger root and shred it into small pieces.
  2. Place the shredded ginger in a cheesecloth and soak this in a bowl of hot water for a minute.
  3. Apply this ginger compress directly to the affected shin and allow it to work for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times a day (as required).

Why This Works

Ginger is quite popular for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the inflammation and swelling caused by shin splints (7). In addition to this, ginger also exhibits analgesic properties, which can give quick and effective relief from the pain (8).

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6. Vitamin D

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Vitamin D exhibits some exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. A deficiency in this vitamin can make you susceptible to inflammation and swelling from injuries. Hence, it is recommended that you get the right amount of vitamin D daily. Try to consume foods rich in vitamin D such as tuna, mackerel, oranges, soy, cheese, and eggs. However, if you are planning to take additional supplements for this condition, you can do so after consulting your doctor.

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7. Epsom Salt

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1 bucket of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add Epsom salt to your bath water in a tub or bucket.
  2. Use this water to bathe and relax your muscles.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least thrice a week.

Why This Works

Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate the pain and inflammation caused by shin splints. It is mainly the magnesium in this salt that imparts the beneficial and analgesic activities to it (9), (10).

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8. Pickle Juice

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You Will Need

1/3 cup of pickle juice

What You Have To Do

Consume pickle juice before or after any intense exercise or activity.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice once daily.

Why This Works

Pickle juice mainly consists of vinegar, and this makes it rich in potassium. Potassium has been used for years to combat cramps and inflammation of muscles (11), (12). This makes pickle juice one of the best cost-effective treatments for shin splints.

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9. Almonds

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You Will Need

8 to 10 almonds

What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight.
  2. Remove the peel the next day and consume directly or blend them with milk.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this one to two times daily.

Why This Works

Almonds are natural antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in treating the inflammation and pain caused by shin splints (13).

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10. Apple Cider Vinegar

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add about one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Mix well.
  2. Add honey and consume this mixture daily.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar is mainly composed of acetic acid that exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which can help it treat shin splints (14).

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11. Turmeric

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the turmeric powder with enough water to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply this paste on the affected area of your shin.
  3. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, after which you can wash it off with warm water.
  4. Additionally, you can also consume turmeric with a glass of hot milk daily.
How Often You Should Do This

You can follow this procedure 1 to 2 times a day.

Why This Works

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can be of great use in the treatment of shin splints (15), (16), (17).

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12. Pineapple

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of pineapples
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend the pineapples with water.
  2. Alternatively, you can also simply chew on a few pieces of pineapple.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties. This is mainly due to the presence of an enzyme called bromelain in them, which imparts some of the most beneficial properties to pineapples, including their analgesic nature (18), (19), (20). Thus, pineapples are also one of the best and effective ways to treat shin splints and its painful symptoms easily.

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13. Valerian Root

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You Will Need
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of valerian root
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add valerian root to a cup of water.
  2. Bring this to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Add honey for flavor and consume this before it turns cold.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Valerian is widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, this herb also exhibits analgesic and antispasmodic effects, which help the muscles of your shin to relax and reduce the pain (21), (22).

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14. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some coconut oil and rub it in between your palms.
  2. Gently massage this oil onto the affected area of your leg.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is a natural pain reliever, thanks to its analgesic properties. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and a combined effect of these activities can help you get rid of shin splints (23).

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15. Cayenne Pepper

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add about one teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a glass of warm water.
  2. Consume this daily.
  3. You can also add honey to this solution for taste.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum) contains certain compounds that exhibit analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in treating shin splints (24).

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16. Milk

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You Will Need

1 glass of milk

What You Have To Do

Consume a glass of milk on a daily basis.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1 to 2 times a day.

Why This Works

Milk contains vitamin D that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. This can be used to treat the inflammation and swelling caused by shin splints and also accelerate your recovery (25). Additionally, milk also contains calcium, which is good for maintaining healthy bones (26).

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17. Bananas

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You Will Need

1 to 2 bananas

What You Have To Do

Eat a banana or two daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume them on a daily basis.

Why This Works

Bananas are a rich source of potassium. Potassium, as discussed before, has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to treat the muscle inflammation that occurs as a result of shin splints. In addition to this, bananas also have the potential to increase your energy levels during exercise (27), (28).

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Although all these remedies are beneficial in the treatment of shin splints, taking some precautions will aid faster recovery. Following the tips given below, along with the remedies, can help you avoid the recurrence of the condition altogether.

Preventing Shin Splints

  • Indulge in exercises that can strengthen your legs, ankles, and hips.
  • Analyze your movements and find out whether any specific movement is causing the development of shin splints.
  • Practise yoga stretches that involve stretching your hamstrings and calves that can help to lengthen your shin and relieve the pain from shin splints.
  • Increase your intake of foods rich in vitamins D and K and calcium such as cheese, milk, yoghurt, sardines, mushrooms, and kimchi.
  • Get enough rest to relieve the pain in your shins before the next exercise or workout session.
  • Wear the right size of shoes.
  • Wear shock absorbing insoles to reduce the impact of shin splints.
  • Use KT tapes to relieve the pressure and strain on the shin muscles.

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Including these preventive tips in your daily regimen can prove to be of great help in combating shin splints. However, if the pain that you experience is intolerable, visit your doctor immediately to check for any serious injuries to your shin. But if you are looking for a quick fix for a minor swelling or pain around your shin, go ahead with the remedies mentioned here and tell us if they worked for you by posting a comment below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to treat shin splints during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, shin splints can be treated naturally with the remedies mentioned above. However, pregnant women can also follow the tips mentioned below to get relief:

  • Elevate your legs as often as you can.
  • Sleep on your side.
  • Consume plenty of fluids.
  • Keep a check on your weight.
  • Indulge in gentle exercises.
  • Use a cold compress on the affected area.

How long does it take for shin splints to heal?

The pain that accompanies shin splints usually vanishes in 3 to 4 weeks. Nevertheless, shin splints might take 3 to 6 months to heal completely.

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