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Bad Shin Pain
January 2000

Q. I have a very bad pain in my shin area, close to the ankle. It's especially bad in my left leg about two inches up from the ankle on the front/left part of the shin. I have been doing floor work that requires constant kneeling. Now the pain is increasing so much that I cannot sleep. It's a very sharp cramp. Can you please suggest some kind of treatment for this condition?

A. This a bit of an unusual presentation, in terms of its cause, but the symptoms sound a bit like shin splints. This is oftentimes helped by decreasing the activity that's causing the symptoms, applying ice a few times a day to the affected area, and sometimes by inserting a heel lift (about 3/8" firm rubber, not soft pad) into the heel of both shoes.

Using ice is sometimes difficult because putting an ice cube directly on the skin can cause damage, such as frostbite. It's best to mix ice and water in a ice bag. For more information on shin splints, visit: http://www.runnersworld.com/bodyshop/bssplints.html

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