Shin splints are the worse. That’s why having the right compression sleeves for shin splints is crucial to help recover from and prevent shin splints from keeping you away from your favorite physical activities. And if you’ve never had shin splints, then consider yourself lucky. They can happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.
In this article, I plan to provide you with information to what exactly shin splints are, the symptoms of shin splints, benefits of having good compression sleeves for shin splints and most importantly how to choose the right compression sleeves so you won’t have to deal with the crippling pain that accommodates this very annoying condition.
What Are Shin Splints?
According to Healthline, shin splints describe the pain felt along the front of your lower leg bone. As you can see in the image below, there are multiple places that you can experience shin splint pain.
While shin splints can occur in anyone, they are most common in those who are physically active and exercise on a consistent basis, which is why wearing a compression sleeve for shin splints when you exercise is always a good idea.
What Causes Shin Splints?
The main cause of shin splints is a sudden change in physical exercise. To put it another way, shin splints occur when your muscles endure a workload they are not yet used to enduring. That’s why it is very important to gradually increase your workload when deciding to become more physically active.
How Painful are Shin Splints?
While it depends on how active you are, shin splints can leave you wanting to give up all physical activity.
If you don’t exercise often, shin splints might not affect you all that much.
However, if you are a runner, you will definitely feel the effects of having shin splints, and it is probably a good idea to invest in a compression sleeve for shin splints. Not simply because they will help to prevent further shin splints, but because they will help you manage your current pain as well.
How Common Are Shin Splints?
According to a study done by Plos One, shin splints are the most common injury for runners.
While they are less common in athletes, they are still one of the more common minor injuries sustained by athletes as well.
If you’ve ever been consistently involved in any form of physical activity, I’m sure you have personally encountered or know someone who has experienced shin splints.
Due to how common shin splints are, it is important to make sure you are protecting yourself from them by wearing a compression sleeve while exercising.
What Are The Symptoms of Shin Splints?
It’s important to be able to properly diagnose shin splints.
When you start to endure symptoms of shin splints, it is important to begin wearing a compression sleeve to keep the condition from worsening.
So how do you know when you may have shin splints?
Here are the three most common symptoms:
Symptom #1: Dull Ache and Soreness Along Inner Side of Shin Bone
The first and most common, symptom you will experience with shin splints is a soreness along the inner side of your shin bone.
During exercise, you will feel a dull ache on your shin.
If you are running, you will feel a slight pain with every step you take.
Symptom #2: Mild Swelling On Shin Bone
Another symptom that might suggest you have shin splints is swelling on your shin bone.
If you are feeling pain and have swelling, then you probably have shin splints and need to invest in a compression sleeve or consult a doctor.
With that said, if you have swelling but don’t feel any pain, it may just be from an increase in activity and doesn’t necessarily mean you have shin splints.
However, you might want to start wearing a compression sleeve for shin splints just in case.
Symptom #3: Numbness and Weakness of Feet
Many times shin splints can be accompanied by numbness in the feet.
If you’ve ever suffered through shin splints, you can probably relate to this and know exactly what I am talking about.
With that said, numbness and weakness of the feet by itself does not mean you have shin splints, but you should take preventive measures if you experience this symptom.
Benefits of Using a Compression Sleeve for Shin Splints
So do compression sleeves actually work?
The short answer is yes. And the longer answer, well, it’s still yes.
Compression sleeves are a great way to not only prevent shin splints from occurring, but they also help relieve pain and speed up the recovery time while suffering through shin splints.
Not to mention, they can help you perform better as well.
Benefit #1: Prevention
While many only wear compression sleeves after they sustain an injury, it is best to wear compression sleeves for shin splints to prevent any problems in the first place.
And yes, compression sleeves will help to prevent any nagging shin injuries from popping up.
Benefit #2: Recovery
If you do happen to get shin splints, wearing a compression sleeve will help to relieve the pain and recover faster.
In severe cases, I would recommend rest for shin splint injuries.
However, if you only have minor pain from your shin splints, you can wear a compression sleeve and continue on with your usual exercise regimen.
Benefit #3: Performance
Compression sleeves will actually help you perform better.
So not only will they help you prevent shin splints, but they will also help you get that needed edge over the competition, finish your cardio workouts and just feel good while you exercise.
Not to mention, they make you look pretty cool as well.
What to Consider When Choosing a Compression Sleeve for Shin Splints
All compression sleeves for shin splints aren’t created equal.
It’s important to know what to look for when you choose a compression sleeve because using the wrong compression sleeve can cause more problems than it solves.
So how do you make sure you pick the right compression sleeve?
Here is the list of the 10 most important elements to consider when choosing a compression sleeve for shin splints:
The material of the compression sleeve affects all other aspects of choosing the right compression sleeve.
If you are physically active, then you will probably be wearing your compression sleeve for shin splints quite often, so it is good to have one made of strong material.
The material will also affect the comfort of your sleeve. If it is made out of a stretch, non-absorbent material, then it will be very uncomfortable for you as you begin to sweat.
Just as important as it is to choose the right material, it is equally important to choose the right size.
Here is a great chart for you to reference:
Purchasing the wrong size calf compression sleeve can lead to a very uncomfortable experience.
While it can be beneficial to try on compression sleeves for shin splints, this chart is a pretty reliable guide if you plan to purchase online.
Having a durable compression sleeve is also very important since you will be using your sleeve often.
As previously mentioned, the material has a large effect on the durability of your sleeve.
However, the material isn’t the only consideration. You should also reference the reviews of the product, the warranty offered and how thick the material is.
Purchasing the right size and taking care of your sleeve when you are not using it also factor into the durability of a compression sleeve for shin splints.
Every sleeve has a different compression level, ranging from mild compression levels to high.
It’s important to know your preference as having the wrong compression level can be an uncomfortable experience.
If you prefer to have more pressure and support, then a high compression level, class III, is probably best for you.
If you prefer your compression sleeve to be looser, then a Mild, Class I compression sleeve is probably best.
Fit and Design
The size isn’t the only thing to consider when calculating how well the sleeve will fit; The design affects this as well.
If the compression sleeve is poorly designed and manufactured, it will not fit properly and be very uncomfortable and more than likely won’t help you prevent shin splints.
Be sure to purchase from reputable brands that have a science-based design, and you will end up with a great compression sleeve for shin splints.
Some compression sleeves are more flexible than others. The flexibility of a sleeve is dependent upon the design, size and material.
If your compression sleeve is not flexible, it will break, cause discomfort and not prevent injuries the way a more flexible sleeve will.
As long as the sleeve is made of a quality material, the correct size for you and well designed, you shouldn’t have any problems with the forgiveness and flexibility of your compression sleeve.
Is It Breathable?
A compression sleeve that isn't breathable can be far worse than not having a compression sleeve at all.
If you are wearing a compression sleeve that isn’t breathable, then you will quickly feel very uncomfortable as you begin to sweat.
To make sure you purchase a compression sleeve that allows for breathability, carefully examine the reviews, material and product descriptions of the products you are considering.
The effectiveness of a compression sleeve doesn’t just mean it has good reviews and has good materials.
More importantly, does it fit your needs and work for you.
You can only know how effective a particular compression sleeve is through experience.
After you begin exercising with a compression sleeve for shin splints, you will quickly learn what makes a compression sleeve great for you personally.
As with any product you will ever buy, price is a huge consideration.
If you are someone that commonly suffers from shin splints and other lower leg injuries, then you will want to invest in the highest quality compression sleeve possible.
With that said, high price doesn’t equal high quality.
You can find affordable compression sleeve that are of very high quality.
Along with the price, you should always take the reviews of a compression sleeve into consideration.
If the sleeve has really poor reviews, then you should definitely steer away from purchasing that product.
However, reviews aren’t the end all be all when finding the right compression sleeve for shin splints.
Look deeper into why a certain compression sleeve is receiving good or bad reviews and determine whether or not those factors are beneficial to your personal preference.
3 Compression Sleeves for Shin Splints You Should Consider Buying
While there are many good options to choose from and I’m not recommending you only look at these three options, I thought it would only be right for me to provide you with a few options to consider.
Keep in mind, these are NOT in any way shape or form affiliate linked products.
These three sleeves were determined based on the above considerations.
Option #1: X31 Sports Calf Compression Sleeve - $19.00
One of the more affordable compression sleeve options, this calf sleeve by Copper Compression fairs well in most categories.
It’s flexible with 85% Nylon and 15% Spandex, it absorbs moisture and is comfortable to wear.
While it only has 6 reviews listed on their website, they are all positive.
Where to Buy: X31 Sports
Option #2: SLS3 Women’s Butterfly Calf Compression Sleeve - $39.90
This calf compression sleeve, which is made specifically for women, fairs well in most categories.
This sleeve by SLS3 is made of quality, flexible material, is breathable and is backed by good reviews and a competitive price.
The cons, well, we haven’t found any.
Where to Buy: SLS3
Option #3: Zensah Compression Leg Sleeve - $39.99
While the price isn’t glamorous, this compression sleeve for shin splints is perfect for those who love a tight compression sleeve.
The Zensah Compression Leg Sleeve has 734 reviews on their website, almost all of which are positive, so you are sure to get a great sleeve with this one.
It meets almost all of our recommended considerations, including good material, both breathable and absorbent, and comfortable.
Where to Buy: Zensah
When to Use Your Calf Compression Sleeve
You can benefit from a shin splint compression sleeve anytime you are physically active.
While compression sleeves are most commonly used by athletes and long distance runners, it is great for jumping rope, weight lifting and many other forms of activity.
Most importantly, however, if you are a runner a compression sleeve shouldn’t even be optional.
Without it, you greatly increase the risk of injury.
And for athletes, it is highly recommended if you play a sport that requires running on a consistent basis.
Also, having a nice compression sleeve for shin splints can make those long conditioning sessions after practice much more manageable.
Other Methods for Preventing Shin Splints
While wearing a compression sleeve for shin splints is the best way to prevent shin splints from occurring, there are other great methods you can utilize to reduce your chance of getting them.
Here are five great ways, other than a compression sleeve, to help prevent and manage shin splints:
While everyone knows stretching is important before exercise, stretching our lower leg muscles often gets neglected.
Try these stretches before the next time you're physically active and see how you feel.
The shoes you wear have a large impact to how at risk you are of developing shin splints.
Make sure you are investing in a quality pair of shoes for shin splints.
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