3 Best Shin Splint Stretches
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Massage is an effective form of pain relief for shin splints. It can help to relax the surrounding tissues and increase blood flow and mobility in the ankle joint. This can be performed in a clinic by a Therapist, or there are numerous forms of self-massage with a foam roller, spikey ball and a massage gun.
James McCormack is a Physical Therapist who specializes in foot & ankle injuries. james-mccormack.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
This article will discuss how and when to perform different types of Shin Splints Massage.
Deep Tissue Massage: This is carried out by a Sports Massage Therapist and involves massage to the muscles of the shin and foot using long deep strokes with continually increasing pressure. There can be some mild discomfort, but an experienced massage therapist will check in with their client regularly to ensure a tolerable pressure level. A deep tissue massage for Shin Splints is approximately 30-45 minutes in duration and can be as frequently as twice weekly.
Sports Massage: A sports massage for Shin SPlints is very similar in pressure and stroke types to a deep tissue massage, but passive stretches and PNF stretches are incorporated into the treatment. When a muscle has increased blood flow from a massage, it becomes more playable, and therefore a more significant stretch can be applied. A set of stretching exercises is usually recommended for home use after an appointment. A sports massage is carried out for a similar duration and frequency to a deep tissue massage.
Foam rolling is an effective form of self-massage for shin splints that is convenient and easy to do. The downside is that in cases where people have high pain levels, using a foam roller can be too painful due to the levels of force and firmness of the foam roller.
We recommend using a smooth, high-density foam roller like the LuxFit foam roller.
We have written an article for more information on how to foam roll for shin splints and the best foam rolling exercises for pain relief.
A massage gun has recently become a more popular medium for self-massage. Its varied heads, multiple massage options and ease of use are the reasons for its popularity. We would recommend caution in severe cases of shin splints when using a massage gun and avoid using it close to the fibula or tibia.
Apply the massage gun directly to the Calf muscle and the Tibialis Anterior muscle for the most effective use of a massage gun for shin splints.
We recommend using Theragun as it has multiple settings and it is extremely reliable.
Trigger point massage can be carried out with a spikey massage ball, tennis ball or any firm ball such as a hockey ball.
Rest your calf muscle on top of the ball on the floor, and cross over your other leg on top to apply downward pressure. Move your leg until you find a tender point and hold for up to 45 seconds or until the pain subsides.
Repeat this in 4-5 locations along your calf muscle and carry out some shin splint stretches