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How to Tape Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common sports injury that can be treated by wrapping the injured area with tape and giving the leg some rest.


  • : Check tape information if you are allergic to materials such as latex or adhesive. Some leg injuries, such as stress fractures, can be mistaken for shin splints and require medical attention. If in doubt, consult a physician.
  • Step 1: Clean the leg Wash the injured leg with soap and water. Then gently pat it dry with a towel.
  • Step 2: Wrap base layer Wrap pre-wrap tape around the lower leg as a base layer, starting at the ankle and working upward. The tape should slightly overlap at each turn.
  • TIP: Don't wrap the tape too tightly. The fit should be snug, but not a tourniquet.
  • Step 3: Position the foot Sit down with the leg on a hard surface and the toes pointing up.
  • Step 4: Place side strips Cut two pieces of athletic tape the length of your forearm. Stretch one slightly and place it vertically, just to the side of your shin bone. Keep your foot flexed hard to ensure tight taping. Repeat on the other side.
  • Step 5: Cut diagonal strips Cut eight short strips of athletic tape and place them diagonally across the two vertical strips from your ankle to your knee.
  • TIP: Apply the tape in the direction that will secure the sore muscle next to the shin bone. Make sure the tape completely covers the painful area of the injured leg.
  • Step 6: Place cross strips Cut another set of short strips to apply diagonally up the shin in the opposite direction, making a series of Xs, still flexing your foot.
  • Step 7: Cover strips Secure the edges of the X shapes with a vertical strip of athletic tape on either side.
  • TIP: Put a bag of ice wrapped in a towel on your leg to reduce swelling and pain while it heals.
  • Step 8: Outer layer Wrap the non-adhesive elastic bandage around the outside of your taping from the ankle to just under the knee if you want a neater look. Now get back out there!
  • FACT: Shin splints can be caused by engaging in sports with frequent starts and stops, such as basketball and tennis.

You Will Need

  • Soap and water
  • A towel
  • Pre-wrap tape
  • Scissors
  • Athletic tape
  • Non-adhesive elastic athletic bandage
  • A bag of ice and a towel (optional)

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