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Stretching offers the best treatment for shin splints

Nearly all athletes run into shin splints at one time or another. This injury is often tied to overuse and can strike everyone from runners and soccer players to baseball and basketball stars. While it may seem like there aren't many treatments outside of rest, there are a few steps athletes can take to help mitigate the pain and discomfort caused by shin splints, reports The New York Times.

One of the best ways to reduce the effects of the injury is through stretching. There are a number of easy exercises, but experts suggest athletes begin by sitting down and extending the affected leg out straight. Then, they should reach down and gently pull their toes toward their body. After holding for 30 seconds and repeating the stretch five or six times, they should change course and push their toes away, according to the Times.

Stretching is a good start, but experts stress the importance of cutting back on training slightly. If it's painful to run, hopping on the treadmill for 30 minutes might be doing more harm than good. Instead, it might be a good idea to take some time off or find an exercise that puts less stress on the affected leg. 

Athletes work to prevent shin splints, notes WebMD. Perhaps most importantly, runners should always wear shoes with good support and padding and make a point to warm up before exercising. 

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