How to tape your legs to help shin splints

how to run with shin splints

Well-known fact: shin splints are a massive pain. Not so well known: kinesiology tape can make them hurt a little less. 

Related: Shin splints - how to treat them and prevent them

A study of people with shin splints that was published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, found that those who wore the tape for just a week experienced less pain than those who used shoe insoles. That’s big news, because – as the study also points out- shin splints make up to 13 per cent of all running injuries.

If taping away shin splints feels like a temporary solution, it’s time to reframe your thinking. ‘Shin splints happen when you overload the muscles in the front of your shin, causing inflammation in the muscle, tendon and bone,’ says physiotherapist Cameron Yuen. ‘Kinesiology tape lifts the superficial tissues – which promotes healing by moving waste products out of the area – and stimulates nerve endings that relax the muscle.’

The elastic nature of the tape also allows for normal movement patterns, so you can still log some of the miles on your training plan. Yuen recommends taping the area in the manner shown below, then cutting your mileage in half for the next two weeks. ‘Shin splints are often caused by going too hard or too far without building up to it,’ he says. If you feel better, increase your mileage by 10 per cent each week; if you’re still hurting, see a doctor to rule out a stress fracture. ‘Shin splints respond well to rest, so something else is going on if you still feel pain,’ says Yeun.

How to tape your legs to help shin splints: 

1. Measure

how to run with shin splints

Sit with your leg in front of you, foot flexed. Hold the tape at the centre-top of your foot (two inches beneath the top of the big toe) and unroll until it hits just below the outside of your knee. Cut tape here.

2. Stick

how to tape your legs - shin splints

Without stretching the tape, peel off two inches of adhesive and stick just below the outside of your knee.

3. Stretch

how to tape your legs - shin splints

Peel off remaining paper and stretch the tape to stick just beneath the base of your big toe, foot still flexed.

4. Press

how to tape your legs to run with shin splints

Point your toes, lightly pressing the tape of your shin until it’s flat.

5. Add

how to tape your legs to run with shin splints

Cut strips long enough to cover the full width of your shin and stick them across the bone, stretching the tape laterally over pain points.