6 Exercises To Treat Shin Splints

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Exercises can help relieve the pain of shin splints, and help prevent injury in the future.

Nothing is worse than experiencing the pain of shin splints during your training program. However, there are several ways to stretch and exercise your shins to give ease to your run.

Try out these 6 exercises to bring you to healthier running.

1. Feet Pointed Forward Stretch

Point your feet forward to stretch the top of your shins. You should feel your muscles pull along your shin bone. Hold it for 5-10 seconds before relaxing your feet and repeating.

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Push down on your toes to deepen the stretch. If it causes pain, pull back and keep your movements small until the pain is less.

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2. Go Up On Your Toes

Roll over to face the ground and press your toes against the ground. The top of your toes should be flat on the ground as you press away from the floor.

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To intensify the stretch, curl your legs in with the tops of your feet against the floor. Pull your knees away from the ground and press the tops of your feet into the floor. There should be some pressure on your shins, but not too much. Be sure to monitor your pain levels and stop if it becomes too severe.

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3. Foam Roll Exercises

Use a foam roll to loosen up the muscles in your shins. Press your shin against the foam roll and move back and forth. Move slowly up to a minute. Turn your ankle out to stretch your shin from a different angle to ensure your muscles are properly loosened up to heal faster.

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4. Foam Roll Behind Your Calf

Tuck a roll of foam under your achilles tendon and roll your calf back and forth over it. Press more into the foam roller for a deeper stretch.


4. Toe Raises

Rise up on your toes and lean back on your heels. Hold onto something to stabilize yourself at first. As the exercise becomes easy, try walking forward on your toes and back on your heels. It will help increase your balance and stabilize your shins.


5. Toe Drags

Point your toe towards the ground and drag it across the floor. The exercise adds a dynamic element to the similar forward stretch on the floor. Apply pressure towards the floor with your foot to intensify the stretch.


Turn your foot in to stretch the outside of your shin. Repeat about 10-15 times.


6. Heel Drop

Use a stair or step ladder to drop your heel down and press back up on your toe. Use both feet when first trying this exercise, and then move to using one foot at a time as you feel more confident in your balance.


For more detailed instructions on these exercises, check out Ask Doctor Jo's videos:


Supplement your run with great exercises and stretches that will guide you to pain free running.

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article.

Portland, OR