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Injury: Shinsplints

March 02, 1998|MARTIN MILLER

Most Susceptible: Former athletes who are out of shape or novices just starting a new activity such as running, jogging, basketball or a racquet sport.

Symptoms: Sharp pain caused by an inflammation of the sheath that joins the muscle to the bone in the lower front leg.

Causes: Poor fitness, usually aggravated by inadequate footwear.

Treatment: A week or two of rest. Also, periodically ice painful areas. Take an anti-inflammatory, such as Motrin or other form of ibuprofen. Stretch the calf muscles, and do calf raises.

Another helpful exercise calls for sitting barefoot in a chair and laying a towel flat on the floor in front of you. Use your toes to squeeze the towel and pull it in toward your body.

Consult your physician if pain persists.

Prevention: Proper footwear is essential. Make sure shoes can absorb the shock produced by your exercise. Also, trainers recommend getting into shape gradually. Your lungs may be fit enough for a new workout, but it often takes awhile longer for the rest of your body to catch up.

Quote: "This is a weekend warrior syndrome," said Richard Cotton, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. "If you're really involved in your activity, you've worked past it."

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Things to Do:

Take anti-inflammatories

Apply ice

Gently stretch and exercise

Runners typically feel pain in these areas of the lower legs.

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Source: American Council on Exercise

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