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What are Shin Splints and What to do?

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons defines shin splints as pain along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). Many athletes suffer from shin splints, especially those who participate in repetitive sports such as track and cross country. Shin splints are often associated with overuse, therefore can also develop when someone starts a new training program. While the only way to completely heal shin splints is to rest and take time off from the activities that aggravate and cause pain, there are some ways to help alleviate the pain. A few ways include massaging the injured area with ice, taking an ice bath after workouts, taking ibuprofen, strengthening and stretching the calves, and strengthening the muscle in the front of the shinbone (anterior tibialis). Athletes should be aware that while using these methods will help alleviate the symptoms, the injury may not completely heal with just these methods. If inadequate time is allotted to healing shin splints, it is possible that a stress fracture can develop (a micro fracture in the shinbone). All in all if you suffer from shin splints, the only way to rid the pain for good is to take some time off from the activities that aggravate the injured area.