Does compression for shin splints really help runners to get rid of their pains? It’s a widely known method to care shin splints by using compression techniques. But do compression socks and tapes really help or are they just marketing gags?
I use compression sleeves myself and I can tell, that they help! In fact, the compression sleeves I use are pretty similar to those you see on the picture. I got them in a medical house after I made a treadmill analysis to improve running form.
I want to cure my shin splints and prevent shin splints, so compression sleeves are the way to go for me. And I bet they could help you too.
This is a video from Zensah which explains the purpose of their shin sleeves:
The Principle behind Compression for Shin Splints
Reducing Muscle Oscillation and Vibration
Compression sleeves and socks do work, because compression limits the movement of the muscles. Those sleeves are very tight and stabilize your lower leg muscles. This results in few micro-traumata when you’re hitting the ground with your feet. Every step brings enormous pressure into your muscles. Compression for shin splints is reducing this pressure.
When you buy compression sleeves for shin splints, make sure that they have graduated compression. This means that the compression is the strongest at your ankle and decreases towards your knee. This has the benefit, that the blood is more efficiently directed back to your heart and lungs.
They ease the stress of your tibia and fibular muscles and therefore prevent muscles to get overloaded. Compression for shin splints works only because of this function. Most compression sleeves have a special structure to support your shin (wide ribbing) while also stabilizing your calf muscles (tight ribbing). That latter is especially benefitial when you go for long runs, do an intense training or prepare yourself for the next bigger running event.
Optimizing Blood Circulation
Graduated compression optimizes the blood circulation. Those compression sleeves transport the blood properly to your heart and lungs where it get’s fortified with oxygen. So your muscles are better provided with the oxygen that’s consumed during the workout. The optimal supply with oxygen will make your legs feel less tired after training and decrease the time needed for regeneration.
Compression for shin splints is also great regarding to faster recovery. Often, shin splints are a result of overloaded muscles and too much pressure on the muscles. Due to their stabilizing function to prevent micro traumata and the optimized blood circulation, you’ll recover a lot faster when you wear compression sleeves after excercise.
Newer models also feature silver ions, that fight bacteria. And just like any other sport socks compression sleeves regulate your body temperature.
So you see that compression for shin splints has several benefits. That’s why most endurance athletes are using them and why they are so beneficial for fighting shin splints.
Where to Buy Compression Sleeves
You can buy them online or in your local medical house. I recommend buying them in your medical house for the first time, because they can measure the dimensions of your legs and select the perfect matching compression sleeve.
Once you know you can buy them online on Amazon.com or other platforms as well. You could even start with buying them on Amazon and sending them back if they don’t fit well.