Shin splints, or technically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a painful condition caused by inflammation in the muscles and other tissues around the shin bone in your lower leg. Though they often resolve themselves over time, athletes and those with active jobs—like nurses and service workers—don’t always have the opportunity to rest and allow their shin splints to heal.
This is where compression socks for shin splints—like those produced by Nurse Yard—come into play. They’re designed to deliver consistent pressure to the shin and calf to increase blood flow, prevent inflammation, and help alleviate pain. In the article below, we discuss how these features help with shin splints so you can enjoy your favorite activities.
Explore Nurse Yard’s compression sock styles and learn more about our unique design hack here.
Causes of Shin Splints
Shin splints occur as a result of prolonged, intensive physical activity, especially in those who aren’t used to being on their feet for a long time. The constant impact from running, dancing, jumping, or even walking briskly can irritate the muscles and connective tissues around the shin bone, resulting in painful inflammation.
Shin splints are especially common in those who recently began new physical activity or increased the intensity of their usual workout. If you try to do too much too quickly, you can strain the tendons and muscles in your legs which may then develop shin splints.
If you plan to start a new workout, hobby, or job that requires long hours on your feet, compression socks can help prevent shin splints. The gentle-yet-firm pressure encourages improved circulation, which prevents inflammation and helps relieve shin splint pain.
People at Risk of Developing Shin Splints
Shin splints are most common in athletes and those who are on their feet for long periods, such as:
- Dancers and gymnasts
- Members of the armed forces
- Athletes, especially runners
- Individuals with high arches
- Osteoporosis and osteopenia patients
- People with flat feet
These individuals are at a higher risk of developing shin splints either because they spend several hours a day doing high-impact activities or because medical conditions make them more likely to strain the muscles in that area.
If you have shin splints or feel at risk of developing them, wearing compression socks is an effective way to alleviate pain and prevent shin splints from developing or worsening.
Do Compression Socks Help Shin Splints?
Yes, compression socks help with shin splints by encouraging better blood flow in the legs, supporting your muscles to prevent fatigue, and helping the tissues around your shins recover more quickly. They also increase muscle stamina and help your body acclimate to prolonged or higher-intensity activities by providing durable support to your leg and calf.
This support prevents the buildup of fluids in your tissues that cause the inflammation and pain associated with shin splints. In fact, graduated compression socks—like those available at Nurse Yard—are frequently recommended by physicians as simple and effective for treating shin splints.
Pain associated with shin splints is usually caused by fluid retention straining the connected muscle tissues in the affected area. Lactic acid can also build up in muscles and cause them to become sore and inflamed. Compression encourages those fluids to drain and redistribute throughout the body, reducing pressure and relieving your muscle soreness.
Speed Up Recovery
The primary thing compression socks do for shin splints is improve and promote circulation in the compressed area. This process causes blood and other fluids to flow faster through your leg by oxygenating the tissues and increasing the overall stamina of the supporting leg muscles.
Compression socks help reduce leg fatigue in the same way they increase stamina—with increased blood flow to the area. Increased stamina means you have more energy for longer, which helps strengthen the muscles and connective tissue in your legs and reduces fatigue from shin splints over time.
Alleviate & Reduce Swelling
As mentioned above, swelling associated with shin splints results from fluids pooling in the affected area. Compression helps push those fluids out of the tissues around the shinbone, encouraging them to redistribute throughout the body.
Aid in Blood Flow
Gentle, constant pressure on your feet, ankles, and calves encourages healthy blood circulation by moving blood back up your body to be processed in your heart. This prevents toxins from building up in the area and ensures your muscles have the necessary nutrients to keep moving comfortably.
Can Compression Socks Prevent Shin Splints?
Compression socks can be a key factor in preventing shin splints when starting a new workout or increasing the intensity of a familiar routine. Pressure from the socks helps absorb and redistribute pressure from running, jumping, and other forms of high-impact exercise.
This process prevents your shin bones and muscles from becoming overworked and developing the inflammation that causes shin splints. Combined with improved blood flow and lymphatic circulation, compression socks greatly decrease your chances of experiencing chronic shin pain and inflammation.
When to Wear Compression Socks
You can wear compression socks before, during, and after high-intensity exercise or activity to help heal shin splints. Dancers and other athletes required to wear special shoes or costumes should wear compression socks before and after workouts to boost their performance and aid their shin splint recovery.
Professionals like nurses and servers should wear compression socks while working for the most benefits, as should runners and individuals who play sports for recreation or exercise.
How Long You Should Wear Compression Socks for Shin Splints
Nurse Yard’s compression socks are designed to be worn all day, every day. It’s safe and beneficial to wear them, especially if you’ll be on your feet for most of the day. You can also wear them for 3 to 4 hours after strenuous exercise to reduce the discomfort of shin splints.
However, wearing any sock for too long can cause skin irritation and chafing. If you intend to wear your compression socks daily, be sure to have several pairs so you can change them regularly to protect your skin.
What Level of Compression Socks Should You Wear for Shin Splints?
Compression socks come in varying levels of compression, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Typically, a moderate to firm level of compression, ranging from 15-30 mmHg, is most beneficial for shin splints.
This level of compression promotes better blood circulation, helping to speed up the healing process while also reducing inflammation and pain.
If you’re concerned about the severity of your shin splints, you can always consult with your healthcare professional or physical therapist to determine what compression level is best for you.
Relieve and Prevent Shin Splints With Compression Socks From Nurse Yard
Nurse Yard’s compression socks are made to put your comfort first. From the supported arch and cushioned ankle to the wave-knit weaving and no-slip cuff, they’re designed to support your feet, ankles, calves, and knees to promote blood circulation, prevent chafing, and keep you pain-free all day long.
If you have shin splints and want to relieve pain and shorten recovery, order Nurse Yard’s compression socks today.