Do Compression Socks Help Shin Splints?

Do Compression Socks Help Shin Splints?

Yes, compression socks can help reduce pain from shin splints. Shin splints are caused by repetitive overuse of the lower leg, resulting in inflammation of the muscles, tendons and bone tissue around the tibia

Compression socks work to improve blood flow in your legs, helping reduce inflammation and pain caused by overuse. Since one of the main effects of shin splints is inflammation and pain, wearing compression socks can help reduce these symptoms and get you back into fighting shape.

One study showed that runners who wore compression socks benefited from “reduced muscle pain, damage, and inflammation” both while running and in recovery. From this conclusion we can ascertain that wearing compression socks can help reduce pain caused by shin splints and provide much needed relief.

shin splint

How Compression Socks Help With Shin Spints

As the research shows, compression garments can help shin splints, but you may be wondering why compression therapy is so beneficial for this condition. There are several benefits that can be gained from using compression socks as a treatment for shin splints:

Eases Inflammation

Compression socks help reduce inflammation and keep fluid buildup at bay. This reduction in inflammation minimizes stiffness, helping to reduce associated discomfort.

Provides Support

The graduated pressure provided by compression socks helps to provide the shin with support. This support protects against further damage to the shins when combined with rest.

Pain Relief

Wearing compression socks helps ease the pain of shin splints by improving blood flow in the area, easing stiffness, and providing vital nutrients needed to speed up the healing process.

runner wearing compression socks

What Level of Compression Socks Should be Used for Shin Splints?

To gain the most effective benefits from using compression socks for shin splints, it is crucial to choose the correct level of compression. Compression socks that offer between 15-20 mmHG and 20-30 mmHG are recommended for shin splints.

Selecting compression socks that are specifically designed for physical activity, such as Mediven Active 15-20 mmHG and Mediven Active 20-30 mmHG, will ensure the socks are able to meet your needs. The graduated compression used in these socks will help with healthy circulation and energy return. While the padded footbed of the socks will help ensure stability, support, and pressure relief, easing the pain and discomfort of shin splints in the process.

How Long Can You Wear Compression Socks For Shin Splints?

Compression socks are a beneficial tool for preventing shin splints during exercise. By enhancing blood circulation and providing support to the lower leg, they effectively reduce the risk of developing this painful condition. However, it's important to be mindful of their usage during periods of rest. Wearing compression socks for an extended duration while at rest can potentially lead to swelling at the ankles. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the duration of wearing compression socks to around two hours during periods of rest to avoid this potential side effect.

Are Compression Socks or Sleeves Better for Shin Splints?

Both compression socks and compression sleeves are effective in enhancing blood flow in the legs and reducing the likelihood of developing shin splints. The main difference between the two lies in their coverage: compression socks cover the a foot and extend up to the knee, while compression sleeves solely cover the calf area.

Compression garments work by applying gentle pressure to the lower leg, which helps improve circulation and reduce muscle vibration during physical activity. This improved blood flow can contribute to decreased muscle fatigue and a lower risk of developing shin splints.

When deciding between compression socks and sleeves, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. Some individuals may find compression socks more comfortable and beneficial, as they provide compression to the entire lower leg, including the foot and ankle. Compression sleeves, on the other hand, offer targeted compression to the calf muscles and may be preferred by those who desire more freedom for their feet, such as when wearing specific footwear.

Ice Pack On Leg

Other Ways To Treat Shin Spints

Apart from wearing compression socks, here are some other ways you can treat shin splints:

  • Rest and reduce activity: Shin splints often result from overuse or repetitive stress on the leg muscles. It's crucial to give your legs adequate rest to allow for healing. Reduce or modify activities that aggravate the condition, and gradually ease back into exercise as symptoms subside.

  • Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. Use ice for 15-20 minutes every few hours, especially after exercise or when experiencing discomfort.

  • Pain relief: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises: Perform gentle stretching exercises for the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and surrounding muscles to improve flexibility and reduce strain on the shins. Additionally, strengthening exercises for the lower leg muscles can help prevent future shin splints.

  • Proper footwear and orthotics: Wearing appropriate footwear with good cushioning, arch support, and shock absorption can help alleviate stress on the shins. In some cases, using orthotic shoe inserts may be recommended to provide additional support and correct any biomechanical issues contributing to shin splints.

  • Gradual return to activity: When symptoms have improved, gradually reintroduce exercise and physical activity. Start with low-impact activities and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Avoid sudden changes that may lead to a recurrence of shin splints.


  • Sports massage or physical therapy: Consider seeking the assistance of a trained sports massage therapist or a physical therapist. They can provide targeted treatments, such as massage, stretching, and other therapeutic techniques to promote healing and prevent future shin splints.


In conclusion, if you're suffering from shin splints, compression socks can be a beneficial solution to alleviate discomfort and promote recovery. These specially designed socks apply gentle pressure to the lower legs, improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation, which are common causes of shin splints. By providing support and stability to the muscles and tendons in the lower leg, compression socks can help prevent further injury and allow for a quicker return to physical activity.

If you're looking for high-quality compression socks to aid in your shin splint recovery, look no further than Dunn Medical. With a wide range of compression sock options designed for various needs and preferences, Dunn Medical is your go-to destination for all your compression sock needs.


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