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Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, and Shin Splints

Shin splints are a painful condition that affects the shin area of the lower leg. More technical medical terms used to describe this condition are medial tibial stress syndrome, medial tibial syndrome or even anterior low leg pain. Shin splints generally occur while running, walking, swimming or jumping, and may take some time to heal.

Shin pain may be the result of over used muscles, an inflammation of the connective tissues in the leg, stress fractures of the bone, sciatic nerve pain, or even osteosarcoma. Consequently, if you have shin pain that does not seem to resolve within a reasonable amount of time you may wish to seek medical treatment.

Additionally, individuals who are “knock kneed” may have problems with shin splints due to the abnormal foot pronation. Knock kneed individual’s heel bones angle inward, which tends to cause the individual’s arch to flatten as the foot hits the ground. This type of walking pattern causes the entire weight of the foot step to fall on a small area on the outside of the foot. That in turn puts stress upon the shin and, thus, improper foot pronation may lead to foot pain, shin splints, knee pain, plantar fascitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

The most common treatment for acute shin splints is rest; the offending activity should be avoided until the pain has subsided. Some doctors suggest the use of anti inflammatory medications or icing to help control shin splint pain.

A variety of sources indicate that the following micronutrients, supplements, and/or herbs may potentially be helpful for this condition. However, it may be wise to consult with your physician prior to taking nutritional supplements and this is certainly recommended for individuals with a diagnosed condition, particularly those who take prescribed medication.

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