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There are several tips that can help ensure that shin splint taping is done properly and will have the desired effect of reducing pain. For instance, it is beneficial for one to understand the method of taping that will bring the most relief from the specific type of pain experienced. There also are preparation tips that ensure that the tape is optimally effective, such as cleaning the skin, shaving the skin or applying an underwrap. Certain types of materials, especially kinesiology tape and zinc oxide tape, tend to be most useful for shin splint taping. Lastly, there are particular steps that one can take while taping the shin splint, such as positioning the leg correctly and adding several layers of tape, that will ensure that taping is successful.
A variety of shin splint taping methods exist. Each method is designed to bring relief from pain in specific parts of the leg. For example, when shin pain is centered on the sides of the bone, one should use a lateral taping method in which tape is wrapped around the inside of the ankle then extended around to the back of the leg. When shin-splint pain occurs in the front of the leg, the opposite of the lateral taping method, the anterior taping method, should be used.
Shaving the leg in preparation for tape will allow the tape to be placed directly on the skin, which has been shown to maximize its effectiveness. In lieu of shaving, underwrap can be placed beneath the tape, although this method is less effective at reducing pain. Skin should also be clean and dry prior to shin splint taping, and any cuts or blisters occurring on the skin should be cleaned and treated with the appropriate ointment. It also is advised for one to spray the area with a skin adhesive spray that will anchor any underwrap or tape in place.
Kinesiology tape was created to imitate the properties of the human skin and is effective for shin splint taping. Another possible tape choice is a zinc oxide tape that does not stretch. Underwrap that is made of foam will prevent chafing and keep the tape in place. It is important for one to take into account any potential skin allergies or sensitivities prior to choosing materials. If the person with shin splints is allergic to any of these materials, substitutes should be used.
During the taping, there are two things that can be done to make the tape more effective. First, the leg should be positioned in a manner that keeps the skin taut to allow for optimal placement of the tape. Also, several layers of tape should be placed over the initial pieces in order to reinforce the support.