Shape Up Your Shins

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If you like to run, power walk or participate in high-impact activities, then you're probably familiar with shin splints, that excruciating pain that occurs a few inches below the knee. The term is a generic one that describes pain near the shin bone where the calf muscle attaches to the bone. They may appear after periods of inactivity or after adopting a more vigorous workout, in beginning exercisers or those who are overweight.

Fallen or very high arches can contribute as well - a trainer or physician can recommend orthotics that can help these conditions. Conditions like tendonitis, periostitis (inflammation of membranes that cover the bone) and stress fractures - although rare - cause shin pain. There are many ways to prevent shin splints. Start out slowly and allow adequate rest periods if you're new to exercise or re-energizing your program. What's on and under your feet can affect your shins. Be sure to replace old shoes, even if there are no signs of wear on the tread or on top.