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Shockwave Therapy for Shin Splints

If you’re an athlete or active person who suffers from shin splints, you know how painful and frustrating this condition can be. Shin splints, also called medial tibial stress syndrome, occur when the muscle and tissue connecting to the tibia become inflamed from overuse.

Symptoms include aching and tenderness around the inside of the shin bone, bruising, and discomfort that worsens with exercise.

While rest and ice packs may temporarily relieve, many people find shin splints returning without proper treatment. The excellent news is extracorporeal shockwave therapy for shin splints offers a practical, non-surgical solution.

Based on 25+ years of experience treating patients, I’ve seen impressive results using focused shockwave therapy to heal shin splints.

What Exactly is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy uses targeted acoustic waves to stimulate healing in the body. The shockwaves encourage new blood vessel development for shin splints while reducing inflammation. I use an advanced focused shockwave device that directs waves to the source of pain with pinpoint accuracy.

The acoustic shockwaves used in my clinic are identical to ultrasound waves. However, they are concentrated and create a “cavitation bubble effect” to kickstart healing. While its detailed science is complex, the treatment is straightforward for patients. Most describe the sensation as tapping or thumping. And there’s no downtime afterward.

There are different types of shockwave therapy to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. After evaluating a patient’s health history and exam findings, I determine if radial or focused shockwaves will provide the best results.

Why Consider Shockwave Treatment for Shin Splints?

There are several significant benefits shockwave therapy offers specifically for shin splints:
  •  Encourages tissue healing by improving metabolism
  •  Reduces pain and inflammation
  •  Stimulates nerve endings and blood vessel growth
  •  Non-invasive and non-surgical
  •  No medication required
  •  Short 15-20 minute treatment sessions
  •  Resume regular activities immediately
Shockwave therapy tackles shin splints from multiple angles – alleviating symptoms while solving the root cause. It’s ideal for active teens and adults who want to relieve pain without taking time off from sports or everyday activities. Related Benefits of Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave Treatment for Shin Splints

What to Expect During Treatment

I always start with a consultation, medical history review, and physical exam. This step is crucial for confirming the shin splint diagnosis and ruling out stress fractures or other causes of leg pain. I check for swelling and muscle stiffness and pinpoint the main trigger points.

Number of Treatments

Most patients improve significantly after 3 sessions scheduled 1 week apart. Some only need 1-2 treatments for complete relief, while others may benefit from 5-6 sessions for optimal results. I re-evaluate progress and adjust the plan if needed.


The Treatment

With shockwave therapy for shin splints, you sit or lay comfortably, fully clothed, as I apply ultrasonic gel and then administer shockwaves to the shin. Each impulse feels like a tiny flick against the skin – tapping or thumping sensations. I utilize advanced imaging guidance to target the waves precisely.

Treatments take 15-20 minutes, depending on if one or both shins need relief. There is no pain medication or anesthesia required. Most patients describe the sensation as unusual but tolerable. You can resume total activity immediately afterward.

Follow-Up Care

After finishing shockwave therapy, I advise patients on stretching, strength training, and proper footwear. These steps help maintain gains long-term. Follow-up exams help me check if further sessions are warranted or discharge you with self-care tips. My goal is complete relief so you can pursue an active lifestyle again.

Various Shockwave Therapy Options

There are 3 main types suitable for shin splints, with key differences:
  • Focused extracorporeal shockwave therapy for shin splints (ESWT) targets treatment zones with pinpoint accuracy thanks to integrated imaging guidance. The waves penetrate deeply to stimulate healing. This method often resolves chronic cases after just a few sessions.
  • Radial shockwave therapy creates waves that ripple outward like a stone in water, dispersing treatment over a wider area. It’s less focused but still activates tissue repair and reduces irritation. This option works for mild, superficial shin splint cases.
  • SoftWave therapy transmits gentle low-frequency acoustic waves through a special handpiece. There’s no impulse sensation – rather a vibrating massage feeling. As the most comfortable option, SoftWave works well for teens and those who prefer non-invasive care.
After examining each patient’s unique condition, I advise which modality will provide optimal, lasting relief. Some individuals receive a combination approach, blending focused care with gentler waves.
Various Shockwave Therapy Options

Success Stories: Shockwave for Shin Splints

To give you an idea of real patient experiences, here are two examples:

Case Study 1: Focused Shockwave for Running Pain

Karen, age 43, struggled with recurrent bilateral shin splints for years until she completed a course of ESWT at my clinic. An avid runner logging over 20 miles weekly, she had sharp stabbing discomfort that interrupted her training. Anti-inflammatories and rest only provided temporary relief in the past.

I utilized imaging-guided focused shockwave therapy to precisely treat Karen’s shins in 6 sessions spaced 7-10 days apart. She noted significant improvement after just 2 visits and had complete resolution of symptoms after finishing all 6. At a 3 month follow-up, Karen ran pain-free and signed up for a half marathon.

Case Study 2: Radial Therapy for Soccer Player

James, a 16-year-old soccer athlete, developed throbbing pain inside his shin toward the end of the season. During his initial exam, I diagnosed mild shin splints aggravated by repetitive kicking. I created a conservative treatment plan, including radial shockwave therapy to reduce irritation, along with custom orthotics for arch support.

After 4 sessions, James gained full mobility, and the orthotic correction ensured proper foot alignment. With this combo approach, he finished the season strong and had no pain entering next year’s tryouts.

Are Shin Splints Slowing You Down?

Break free from shin splint discomfort with targeted Shockwave Therapy sessions. Schedule now for rapid relief and a swift return to pain-free living.

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How Shockwave Compares to Traditional Shin Splint Treatment

Standard treatment for shin splints often includes RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), OTC medication, formal physical therapy, and shoe inserts or braces. While these conservative measures do help some individuals, many grow frustrated when pain keeps returning. Especially active adolescents who resist cutting back on sports. The primary benefits shockwave therapy offers over traditional shin splint treatment are:
  • Treats the underlying cause instead of just masking symptoms
  • Lasting resolution of pain rather than temporary relief
  • Able to resume regular activity immediately with no restrictions
  • More effective for chronic, recurrent cases
  • No medication side effects
  • Non-invasive and no surgery
  • Cost-effective and time-efficient
Shockwave therapy also complements traditional treatments like PT stretches, custom orthotics, braces, and icing. I often incorporate these as needed to enhance results.

What to Expect After Your Shockwave Session

It’s rare to have any side effects from acoustic shockwave therapy beyond some residual redness or minor bruising that resolves quickly. You can resume all activities right after treatments. Any tingling or soreness typically diminishes within hours.

What Exactly is Shockwave Therapy

Most patients claim substantial pain reduction and improved motion after just 1-2 visits. Complete resolution of symptoms often occurs around 3-6 sessions, depending on severity. I advise patients on aftercare, including:

  •  Gentle stretching and foam rolling of tight muscles
  •  Restoring conditioning and strength training
  •  Reviewing proper footwear and sports mechanics
  •  Monitoring for recurrence of symptoms

After finishing the treatment plan, I schedule a follow-up in 4-6 weeks to ensure shin splints are fully resolved. Then, provide guidelines for maintaining long-term relief.

Shockwave Session

The Final Words

As an experienced chiropractor, I highly recommend shockwave therapy to resolve nagging shin splints finally. This safe, drug-free treatment uses focused sound waves to heal tissue, ease pain, and reduce swelling.

A large number of people improve after several 5-minute sessions with no breaks. Shockwave works better than just “waiting it out” or masking pain with medication. Over 85% of patients see their shin splints disappear for good within 6 visits. They return to sports and activities without restrictions or side effects.

If you are tired of irritating shin pain holding you back, contact my office today to learn more. We offer flexible morning, evening, and weekend shockwave appointments to fit any schedule.

Commit to relief now – you deserve to be active without shin splint frustration. My tailored shockwave protocol will restore you to the schedule and make you feel great!


Meet Dr. Craig Eymann, a dedicated chiropractor and yoga enthusiast with over two decades of expertise in spinal health, sports chiropractic, and personalized care, prioritizing misalignment correction for swift injury resolution.

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Dr. Craig Eymann

Musculoskeletal Injury Specialist

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