Choosing shin and calf supports
Shin and calf supports/compression sleeves are an important part of treating and recovering from lower leg injuries. In particular, calf strains and shin splints. So which one is the right one for you and how do they work?
Class 1 medical devices
All Ultimate Performance shin and calf supports are classified as Class 1 Medical Devices. This means the are registered with the Medical & Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA). This means they have met strict criteria, been thoroughly tested, with evidence based research to prove they are safe and effective.
Shin splints support
Shin splints is not a specific injury diagnosis but a general term people use to describe shin pain, usually on the inside lower part of the shin.
There are many causes of shin splints type pain but probably the most common is Medial tibial stress syndrome. This involves the muscles of the lower leg pulling at the outside layer of the shin bone (called the Periosteum). As a result it becomes painful and inflamed.
A shin and calf support helps prevent and treat shin splints pain by supporting the muscles of the lower leg. If these muscles are in good condition then they place less stress on the inside of the shin bone than if they are tight and weak.
The Elastic calf support provides excellent compression as well as being comfortable to wear for longer periods. So if your shin pain is acutely painful then this is the one to go for.
If you have had shin pain for a number of weeks or months then the Advanced neoprene calf support is recommended. Neoprene retains body heat which stimulates blood flow, keeping muscles supple and aiding the healing process. You can also adjust the tension over your shin with the velcro straps.
Calf compression sleeve for muscle strains
A Calf strain is a tear in any of the muscles at the back of the lower leg. The most common strain is to the large gastrocnemius muscle, specifically where the tendon joins the muscle.
Immediate first aid for Calf strains is to apply the PRICE principles of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. The Elastic calf support is an excellent calf compression sleeve for the acute phase, immediately after you have torn your calf muscle.
It protects the muscle from further damage and applies compression to help reduce pain and swelling. Being made of elastic it does not retain as much heat and so is likely to be more comfortable than neoprene when worn for longer periods of time.
Neoprene calf supports
If you have passed the acute stage and have tight knots, lumps and bumps in the muscle then the Advanced neoprene calf support, or the neoprene shin and calf support may be the one to choose.
Neoprene retains body heat which stimulates blood flow and relaxes tight muscles. Later in the rehabilitation process you may only need to wear your support when exercising rather than at all times.
Calf support for running
If you are looking for a bit of extra support and protection for your calf muscles when running then the Elastic calf support is a good choice. It is lightweight and comfortable to wear when running, even for longer periods.
But remember it is important to follow a full rehabilitation program including stretching and strengthening exercises as well as other forms of treatment.
Calf compression sleeves
A calf compression sleeve is simply another name for a calf support. If compression is the main aim then we recommend the Elastic compression sleeve/elastic calf support. This will not retain heat as much as neoprene so may be more comfortable for longer.
All our supports are graded by support level. Level 1: Basic, Level 2: Moderate, Level 3: Pro and Level 4: Maximum.
Relieve pain, support muscles and promote healing.