Side Stitch and Shin Splints

Side Stitch

If you have ever increased your cardiovascular endurance and felt a pain in the side of your abdomin you could have been experiencing what is known as a side stitch. A side stitch is believed to be caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the respiratory muscles during strenuous physical exertion. Another theory is that the spleen is unable to keep up with the production of blood and this causes a pain due to lack of blood to that area. In either case, the side stitch is mostly common among unconditioned beginners or trained individuals when they exercise at higher intensities than usual. As you improve your physical condition, this problem will disappear unless you start training at a higher intensity. If this is a problem for you slow down, and if persists, stop altogether.

Shin Splints

One of the most common injuries to the lower limbs is the shin splint. This type of injury is characterized by pain and irritation in the shin region of the leg and usually results from one or more of the following: (a) lack of proper and gradual conditioning, (b) doing physical activities on hard surfaces (wooden floors, hard tracks, cement, and asphalt), (c) fallen arches in the feet (d) chronic overuse, (e) muscle fatigue, (f) faulty posture, (g) improper shoes, and (h) being excessively overweight and participating in weight bearing activities.

Shin splints may be managed by: (a) removing or reducing the causing agent (exercising on softer surfaces, wearing better shoe and/or arch supports, or completely stopping exercise until the shin splints heal): (b) doing mild stretching exercises before and after physical activity; (c) using ice massage for ten to twenty minutes before and after physical participation; and (d) applying active heat (whirlpool and hot baths) for fifteen minutes, two to three times a day. In addition, supportive taping during physical activity is helpful (the proper taping technique can be easily learned from a qualified athletic trainer.

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