Best Compression Sleeves for Shin Splints for Runners: How to Choose
Shin splints are a very common running injury. Athletes suffer from it after overtraining. Is there a way to get rid of shin splints? Is there a way to prevent it altogether? If you are a regular reader of CompressionCarl, you know that compression technology, especially compression socks and compression sleeves are a great solution. In this article we are going to look at the best compression sleeves for shin splints.
What are shin splints?
But what does exactly shin splints mean? Wikipedia defines it as pain along the inner edge of the shinbone.
Shin splints can affect the front and the inside edge of the shin bone. The former is called anterior shin splints. The latter is called posterior shin splints. This condition causes severe pain around the shinbone, in the front lower part of your leg.
A short video explaining shin splints:
What causes shin splints?
Shin splints usually appear when one overworks their body during strenuous exercise. Runners who suddenly increase their milage, or don’t leave enough recovery time between workouts can suffer from shin splints. Runners coming back from injury too fast can also suffer from this condition.
Usually the pain subsides during exercise, so it is very hard to feel what is the cutoff point before overworking the shinbone.
Exercising in poorly fitting shoes, running on too hard surfaces or running uphill too much increases the chances of suffering from shin splints. Imbalance in other muscles groups can be a risk factor too.
The most common treatment is having a rest. However there is a better way. By wearing best compression sleeves for shin splints, runners can speed up the recovery process. The recovery can be quicker if the blood flow around the shinbone gets better with the best compression calf sleeves for shin splint.
A short video about shin splints and how to cure them:
What does the science say?
Are compression sleeves helpful in treating shin splints, enhancing performance or speeding up recovery. There have been multiple studies that demonstrated the efficacy of compression socks and compression sleeves for endurance athletes. The results suggest that compression garments are helpful in increasing performance and speeding up recovery.
Thankfully there was a study done to find out whether the best compression sleeves for shin splints can help recovery.
Maarten Hendrik Moen and colleagues performed a controlled study in 2012. The aim of the study was to find out whether the functional outcome of three common shin splint treatment methods lead to the same results. The three methods were: recovery running program, running program with additional stretching and strength exercises, and finally recovery program with compression socks. The study found that the subjects using compression socks recovered a little quicker, although the results were not statistically significant.
The key to not develop shin splints is exercising sensibly. Only push yourself a little each time, and refrain from overworking the muscles. If all else fails, putting ice cubes on the problem area can work wonders.
The proper running technique is crucial. Pay attention to your strike point body position, have even and short strides. If you have regular problems with shin splits, then a shoe insert might help. Consult with a professional paediatrician to determine which shoe insert would work best for you.
If you started developing shin splints after getting a new pair of running shoes, these might be the problem. Try exercising in another pair of shoes and see if the problem subsides.
Compression sleeves as treatment for shin splints
Wearing the best compression sleeves for shin splints is one of the best way to avoid the condition. These products increase blood flow around your shinbone. The oxygenated blood reaches the area quicker. The same goes for nutrients and the T cells of the immune system. The steady blood flow lowers the chances of developing inflammation.
The best compression calf sleeves for shin splints keep your shinbone warm. A common problem for people exercising outdoors is the muscle cooling down. The best compression calf sleeves are made of warm materials that let your skin breathe. This way the shinbone is warm during the cold months of winter, but cool during the summer.
The best compression sleeves for shin splints help reduce injuries in another way. They hold the calf muscles tightly, thereby reducing muscle vibration. This reduces muscle fatigue, and the fresher the muscles, the lower the risk of soft tissue injury is. Also if the muscle makes an awkward move – for example during a fall – the sleeves protect it.
The sleeves are made mostly from a mixture of nylon or spandex. The best compression calf sleeves for shin splints have antibacterial material. Your sweat is an excellent growing ground for bacteria. CopperCompression sleeves are infused with copper. The copper content prevents bacterial growth.
What is the difference between compression socks and compression sleeves?
Compression socks cover your whole foot, and not just the area from your ankle to your knee. This is especially important if your feet suffer from such conditions as achilles tendon pain or plantar fasciitis. This leads to better circulation in the legs overall.
Most socks have extra padding at the balls of the feet and the heels, which reduce the impact of the feet hitting the ground while you run or walk.
On the other hand you can wear sleeves with just one pair of socks, so they can be worn inside a tighter pair of shoes. They are also easier to put on and readjust if they start sliding down.
If you want to read more about the subject, check out this article about compression socks vs sleeves.
What should you looks for in the best compression sleeves for shin splints?
No matter which type of calf compression sleeves you buy, please make sure that it has compression technology. Graduated compression works best. Graduated stands for the phenomena whereby the pressure is largest at the bottom of the sleeve, and subsides as it gets closer to the knee. This helps blood circulation the most without restricting mobility.
There are different compression ranges. Strength of compression is measured in mm Hg, or millimetres of mercury. The higher this measure, the more pressure the compression sleeves put on your calves.
Anything under 10 mm Hg is considered low compression. Medium compression can get up to 20 mm Hg. After 30 mm Hg is labelled medical compression, these products are prescribed by doctors for edema patients.
A high pressure compression sleeve for shin splints: Gabor Fitness Running Leg Sleeves
- Premium breathable, comfortable material with reflective safety stripes
- Proven to reduce muscle vibration, shin splints and limit swelling
- Provides optimal blood flow to the muscles with 20-25 mm Hg graduated compression
- Available in six colours: black, whit, blue, orange, pink, red
- Reduces tiredness almost immediately after putting them on
- Limits swelling
- Reduces pain and soreness during exercise
- Helps the elderly with muscle movement
- Easy to put them on
- For people with exceptionally large calves they might be too small
The secret ingredient: Crabon
Look for carbon infused compression sleeves for shin splints. Carbon infusion to the sleeve ensures that the blood flow is increased to the entire calf region of the leg. The carbon infusion gets activated by the body heat, and starts increasing the blood flow as the athlete gets into his workout.
Secret ingredient No 2: Copper
As I already mentioned above, bacteria might grow in sweaty compression sleeves. CopperCompression calf sleeves are my favourite sleeves since the copper content prevents bacteria growth and fights body odour. Check out further reviews of the CopperCompression calf sleeves for shin splints here.
The best compression sleeves for shin splints must be made of durable materials. These sleeves can take the wear and tear of daily use. They will be able to serve you for longer time. If you do cross country or trail running, durable sleeves can protect your skin against sharp grass and pebbles.
You should look good in your compression sleeves. Everybody wants to look hip and fashionable when exercising outdoors or in the gym.
Compression products are worthless if they don’t hug around your skin tightly. They shouldn’t be so tight that they choke the life out of your calves. If they are too tight and leave a red mark on your skin after you take them off, then it is time to look for a looser model. However if they are so loose that they hardly stay on your skin, the compression technology can’t do its job.
Shin splint wraps
These little additions can significantly reduce the pain and discomfort one feels when wearing compression shin splint sleeves. They also reduce the swelling one might experience as a side-effect of lesser circulation.
Kinesiology Taping Design: Blitzu Compression Sleeves
- Combines Blitzu’s innovative kinesiology tapes with the positive effects of graduated compression. These tapes target shin splints. You get the same benefits, but without having to be taped up by a professional trainer.
- Gives you instant relief from shin splints, muscle soreness and swelling.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t get results, you get your money back no questions asked.
- Available in four colours: black, white, purple, pink.
- Durable, machine washable. Robust sewing.
- Perfect compression, effective without feeling the pressure.
- Very easy to put on.
The best compression sleeves for shin splints help reduce injury and speed up your recovery time. They are a must have item in any runner’s wardrobe.
There is no one size fits all solution for everybody. Everybody’s situation is different, however the best compression socks for shin splints share some common traits. They use graduated compression, fit your legs tightly, are made of durable materials, and have copper or carbon content. Do you use compression sleeves? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!