KT Tape for Shin Splints: Effective Techniques and Tips



Shin splints, scientifically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, can cause inflammation in the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue surrounding the shinbones. This condition often results in discomfort and soreness along the front or inner edge of the shinbone, accompanied by dull, sharp, or throbbing pain. Shin splints commonly occur due to repetitive activities, overuse, and lack of variation in fitness routines. Athletes engaged in high-intensity sports, such as running and jumping on hard surfaces, are particularly susceptible to shin splints. Individuals with flat feet or stiff arches also have an increased risk. Returning to exercise after a break or intensifying workouts can contribute to this condition as well.

Harnessing the Power of Kinesiology Tape for Shin Splints

One effective method for preventing and treating shin splints is the use of kinesiology therapeutic (KT) tape. This specialized tape can help stabilize the muscles surrounding the shin, improve blood flow, and provide compression to enhance circulation and reduce pain. KT tape can be utilized in conjunction with other healing modalities, making it a versatile tool in combating shin splints.

Taping Instructions for Optimal Results

To maximize the effectiveness of KT tape, it’s crucial to follow proper taping techniques. Take note of the following instructions, and consult with a professional if needed:

  1. Ensure the tape is rigid without being excessively tight or restrictive.
  2. Shave the affected area to promote tape adherence and ease the tape removal process. Conduct a skin patch test if you have a history of skin allergies.
  3. Here are different taping methods for specific areas:

Anterior Taping Technique

  • Position the foot at a 45-degree angle.
  • Start at the front of the ankle.
  • Wrap the tape around the outside of the ankle, moving upward toward the inner calf at a 45-degree angle.
  • Pull the tape across to the inside of the leg.
  • Repeat this process 3 to 4 times.
  • Secure the tape at the top and bottom.

Posterior Taping Technique

  • Position the foot at a 45-degree angle.
  • Secure the tape a few inches below the inside of the ankle.
  • Pull the tape up along the inside of the leg.
  • Place another piece of tape closer to the heel.
  • Pull the tape up at an angle, curving toward the calf.
  • Add another piece of tape above the heel.
  • Pull the tape up along the back of the leg.
  • Place another piece of tape above the heel.
  • Pull the tape across to the top of the foot, curving it to run along the front of the shin.
  • Add another piece of tape an inch below the last piece of tape.
  • Once again, pull it across to the top of the foot and curve it along the front of the shin.
  • Secure the tape at the top and bottom.

Lateral Taping Technique

  • Position the foot at a 45-degree angle.
  • Begin at the inside front of the ankle and wrap the tape around the back of the ankle.
  • Pull the tape up toward the outer calf and shin at a 45-degree angle.
  • Repeat this process 4 times.
  • Secure the tape at the top and bottom.

Arch Support Taping Technique

  • Position your foot at a 45-degree angle.
  • Place a 1/2 inch piece of felt along the longitudinal arch of your foot.
  • Use prewrap to secure the felt in place.
  • Apply strips of tape around your foot, simultaneously exerting gentle upward pressure on your arch.
  • Place strips at the ball of your foot.
  • Start at the top of your foot, wrap the tape outward under your foot, and continue up and across your arch.
  • Repeat this process 3 to 4 times.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of KT Tape

Research suggests that KT tape can improve function in individuals suffering from shin splints. A small-scale study conducted in 2018 found that KT tape effectively reduced pain and enhanced hop distance in people with hyperpronation, surpassing the results of standard orthotics.

Kinesiology tape promotes improved circulation and muscle relaxation in the affected area, leading to reduced pain and discomfort. It also provides support and alleviates pressure and tension on the muscles. Additionally, the tape restricts unwanted movement, lowering the risk of injury. However, it’s important to remember that rest is a crucial aspect of shin splint healing. Limiting activity allows the muscles to recover. If you wish to remain active, opt for low-impact exercises to minimize strain.

Additional Tips for Shin Splint Recovery

To prevent future concerns and recurrences, it’s essential to promptly address shin splints when they arise. Consider implementing the following tips to expedite your recovery:

  1. Rest: Take ample time off and gradually resume activity. If symptoms reoccur, reduce the intensity or duration of your workouts or consider taking a break.
  2. Choose proper footwear: Wear well-cushioned shoes that provide support and shock absorption. Replace your sneakers every 3 to 6 months or after running 300 to 500 miles.
  3. Incorporate exercises and stretches: Engaging in exercises and stretches aids healing and prevents further injury. Since shin splints can result from imbalances in the body, focus on stretches and exercises that target the entire body, promoting increased muscle strength, range of motion, and flexibility.
  4. Perform self-massage: Use your hands, a foam roller, or a massage roller stick to gently apply pressure to the lower leg and foot muscles. This technique relieves tension, enhances circulation, and improves mobility. Avoid putting direct pressure on the shinbone.
  5. Opt for softer surfaces: Choose grass, a track, or a treadmill for running or exercising to reduce the impact on your shins. Avoid pavement, tile floors, and hills, as they can exacerbate symptoms.
  6. Utilize hot and cold therapy: Utilize a sauna, steam room, hot shower, or bath to relieve muscular tension. For pain and swelling, apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes after exercise.
  7. Engage in low-impact activities: Balance intense workouts with gentle forms of exercise, especially during recovery. Swimming, cycling, and elliptical training are excellent options.

Recommended Products for Shin Splint Support

Several products can aid in shin splint recovery. These can be purchased at drugstores, retail stores, sports stores, or online:

  • KT tape
  • Compression sleeves
  • Compression socks
  • Compression bandages
  • Orthotics

Seeking Professional Guidance

If you develop shin splint symptoms, addressing the condition promptly is crucial to prevent long-term issues. Depending on the severity and duration of your shin splints, complete healing can take several weeks or months. Consult your doctor if your shin splints persist despite efforts to improve them or if you experience chronic shin splints. Additionally, seek medical attention if your shins appear swollen, red, or hot to the touch, as another condition may be responsible for your symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who can guide you in developing healthy movement patterns, preventing overuse, and selecting appropriate footwear.


Treating shin splints is possible with the right approach. It’s important to address the underlying causes and not solely focus on symptom management. This may involve building muscular strength and correcting any misalignments. Take breaks from activity as needed, gradually increase intensity upon resuming, and monitor for recurring symptoms. Using KT tape alongside other healing methods can provide additional support and stress reduction for your lower legs. If you require further guidance on utilizing KT tape for shin splints, consult a doctor or physical therapist. They will evaluate your condition, rule out underlying conditions, identify any imbalances, and ensure correct form and technique.

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