Anterior Shin Splints Treatment Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m going to show you some exercises and stretches on how to relieve anterior shin splints. So let’s get started. Before we get started a lot of people comment on my socks, and the folks at dollarsocksbox.com sent me a whole lot of cool socks that you can see are protecting my shins, and so keep an eye on the socks. So to get started, I’m going to show you on the model where the anterior tibialis muscles are because that’s where the shin splints happen. And if you can see right here on top of that shin bone, or the tibial bone, is the anterior tibialis muscle, and it goes right along there, so when you have that pain, you usually feel it right there and sometimes people say it feels like bone pain because there’s a lot of pressure in that area, so you want to stretch and strengthen all those muscles, even the calves on the back. The first stretch is going to be a calf stretch. I like to prop up my foot so my heel can move easily. That helps you get a better stretch, so if you don’t have a role or something to prop it on, you can prop it off of the edge of something. Take a strap. If you don’t have a strap you can use a belt or a towel or even a dog leash if you have a dog, and put it around the ball of the foot. You want to relax your foot, and then pull towards you. So you’re not actively moving the foot, you’re passively pulling it towards you until you feel a stretch underneath those calf muscles on the bottom there. And hold that stretch for about 30 seconds and then after the 30 seconds relax and do a total of three times. So just pulling it towards you, you want that stretch to be tension, slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. So if it’s painful when you’re pulling, take off that pressure just a little bit. After you’re done stretching the calves, you’re going to roll over and stretch the anterior tibialis muscle. So I like to do an upward dog stretch for that, so rolling over, putting your feet down on the ground, and if you turn them in slightly, that helps get that anterior tibialis. And then put a lot of the weight on the back and then arch your body up holding that stretch if you can for about 30 seconds. If your arms get tired, you can do 5 sets of 15 verses 3 sets of 30. Then you can take a foam roll, if you don’t have a big foam roll you can just take a pool noodle and cut it up so 99 cents from any local store, and then you’re going to roll out that shin area. So kind of on the outside just place it starting up at the knee and then just roll downwards all along that shin area and all along that anterior tibialis muscle. So you want to push firmly, but again you don’t want it to be so painful that you can’t tolerate it, so if you have shin splints this is probably going to be pretty sore, so you might want to start off just lightly rolling it and then after you start loosening it up, then you can start putting a little more pressure on it. Alright, now we’re going to roll over and do some strengthening exercises. So now taking a resistive band, start off pretty light the yellow in the thera-band series is the lightest one, so again put it around the ball of your foot because if you put it too low, you’re not going to get that exercise, and if you put it too high, it might slip off and hit you in the face. Try and get it around the ball of your foot area. I like to prop it up again so the heel is free to move. If you don’t then it’s kind of hard to push down, but with this one just taking it and pushing as far as you comfortably can, and control it back up. If you feel like when you’re coming back up its kind of wiggling like that, that’s probably too much tension on the band, so either let it up a little bit so it’s not as resistive, or maybe even just start off doing these without the band at all because you want to be nice and controlled while you’re doing it. Just start off with about 10 of these, probably two sets of ten, and then if those become easy, you can start working your way up he hit 20-25, and if it’s really easy, then you can go up to the next stronger band. The next one is going to be going the other way into dorsiflexion, so this time you have to anchor it on something and you want it to be something solid, or if you’ve got somebody at home, they can just hold on to it the other side. So now is anchored where the resistance is coming that way, and this time just pull your foot up towards you and then slowly come back down. And this is really working that anterior area so again if it feels painful, either take the tension off or try it some without the band at all, but once it becomes easy, then you can start working your way up, but make sure it’s that controlled motion, not just going up and down really fast, but controlling that band. Alright, now we’re going to finish with some standing up exercises. The next exercise is just a toe drag. You want to place your toes downwards onto the floor, and turn your foot in slightly, and then just drag forward, and that works those muscles right there that anterior anterior tibialis muscle. Just dragging through. If you have some balance issues, make sure you’re holding on to a countertop or a sturdy chair while you do it, but you’re just dragging it through, and again if those are irritated, you’re going to really really feel that, so just use as much pressure where you feel tension but it’s comfortable. So you might have to start off just really lightly, and then you can start getting more pressure on there as it gets better. The next ones are just going to be walking on your toes and then walking on your heels, so just a simple up on the toes walking back and forth, and you can go about 10 or 15 feet and then walking on your heels. And same thing, just start off with about 10 or 15 feet, and that’s really going to work those muscles in the front and the back. Those were your stretches and exercises to help relieve anterior shin splints. Thanks again to dollarsocksbox.com for donating all of the socks. Leave in the comments which one is your favorite, and if you want to help us continue to make awesome videos, make sure you click the donation box up here. Remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

23 Replies to “Anterior Shin Splints Treatment Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Hello Dr Jo! For most, thanks for he informative health to good fitness videos. secondly, I love the socks that looks like the food condiments on a hotdog and it resembles the muscle and bone look of the anatomical male model. Thirdly, what is the link or website to where I can get a model as such to demonstrate the aches and pains in my body to my family and of people that don't understand the difficulties of what an injuried person goes through. Thanks again for everything. Keep up the Good Work!

  2. Hello Dr. Jo!I having pain in the top part of above my knee, could you give me some physical therapy insight on decreasing the pain, or would a Cortisone Injection Shot help it? if the Cortisone Injection Shot will help; do you know the name of one in title that will not cause weight gain for that will not help with the pain of the knee. Thank In Advance!

  3. Thank you for these videos! I seem to get shin splints and/or plantar fascitis every Spring now that I'm in my mid-thirties, I guess partly because I suddenly get more active after being dormant all Winter.

  4. dr jo i have severe pains in my external obliques they are tight and it doesnt go away i can barely raise my right arm .. please help me

  5. Hey Dr Jo. Been following you for a few years now and love your vids. But I have a question. What is the difference in using the band sitting down and flexing the foot away and toward you (3:40) versus doing standing calf raises. They both seem to be the same principal.

  6. Watch some of my Stretches & Exercises for POSTERIOR Shin Splints here: https://youtu.be/4jgiiC_eYcY?list=PLPS8D21t0eO8bRyNBvm5NULZeCKPsnP3Q

  7. I swear you described posterior shin splints. Can you demonstrate the difference? My shins hurt on the outer shin (anterior) not inner shin (posterior).

  8. I love your videos Dr Jo. I’m recovering from a motorcycle accident where my tibia and fibula were severely broken. A rod was inserted in my tibia and now I’m working on rehabilitating from drop foot. I’ve been in a wheelchair for 15 months and I’m excited to start walking with help from You and PT.

  9. Do you know how long it will take my shins to recover, i have been feeling pain for a week now im in xc and I would like to recover asap

  10. Hello Dr Jo i got these shin splints after doing 50 jumping jacks and running on the spot for a minute or so, i get very little exercise ( starting now) and haven't for a few years, is that somewhat normal, simply using muscles i havent used in a while, and in your opinion will it get better the more i exercise/ use them? , I wouldnt think 50 jumping jacks would cause shin splints unless its because im out of shape . Thank you

  11. Thanks so much. I turn to your videos when I have a problem. When I put my foot on a chair and try to stretch my right leg, I'm getting a lot of pain at the right side of my shin, around knee and right side of thigh. I have recently had a pneumonia vaccine and an hour and half later my right leg was muscle bound. Haven't been able to sleep without pain killers since March 26th. During day, I can get around but at night the pain in my shin, ankle and sometimes it goes high is excruciating. I was tangoing March 20th and felt a pain in my lower right back (as I often do and go to my chiropractor and get fixed). This time it was a feeling of nerve and muscle pain. Not a shooting pain like sciatica. Exray report is things a bit out of wack down there. So it's not a shin splint…anyway, I'm trying to stretch the leg and hip to release anything that might be crunched.

  12. Hello Dr, i have little swelling and dents in anterior tibia bone when touched, before that i have stress fracture later it healed and my mri report it shows normal and no sign of stress fracture ,still dents are not healed????

  13. Excellent video, thanks. My anterior is more the issue. Not sure if its arthritis from an injury as a child or from walking. I'll check with my chiropodist on shoes.

  14. Buy a printable worksheet with the Anterior Shin Splints Treatment Stretches & Exercises in this video here: https://www.askdoctorjo.com/purchase-anterior-shin-splints-worksheet
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  15. Can you send a link to the socks? Would you recommend these for running. I’ve been using compression sleeves. They are quite old however. Not sure how long they last. I tried searching dollarfox socks. Is that what you’re saying? Thanks for the videos!

  16. I will try these , really really hope these work , I used to run 10km easily 6 months ago but ever since shin splints have been bothering me , if any other tip or advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

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