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News Article
Pindling is an Overrated National Hero

Dear Editor,
In 2006, the PLP renamed Nassau International Airport after Sir Lynden Pindling when Prime Minister Perry Christie was serving in his first term as leader of The Bahamas.

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Event
Miss Grand Bahama Top Model, Spokes-model Talent Competition
Miss Grand Bahama Top Model, Spokes-model & Talent Competition

Friday 27th May 2011

27th May, 2011 8:00 p.m. Island Seas Resort Tickets are $7 and includes 1 Free Drink. You are invited to attend the Miss Grand Bahama Beauty Pageant's Top Model, Spokes-model & Talent Competition. Come see our talented contestants strut their stuff and on the cat walk! The Miss Grand Bahama Beauty Pageant Organization would like to say thanks to: Pelican Bay Hotel; Island Seas Resort; Terreve College; Treasure Bay Casino; Old Bahama Bay; Colombian Emeralds International; YMCA; Discovery Cruise Line; The Bahamas Weekly; Kelly's True Value; Escanti Shoe Outlet; White's Etc; A Ware; Empress Designs; Divine Beauty; Patrice; Transition Clothing Store; 1.9.6 The Experience; Seventeen; Bandolera; Cleo's Boutique; Glorious Fashion; First Class Security; Patrice; Escanti Boutique; Gwen's Slip Ons Collection; and DAPS Corporate Training.


News Article
The Bad Boys of Comedy were really bad -- in a good way

Phat Groove Entertainment's Bad Boys of Comedy show lived up to its name. It was a total laugh fest, so for a comedy lover like myself, the show was a hit.
I arrived at the Rainforest Theater in the Wyndham Hotel a little late, but thankfully the show had started on a mellow note with The Illest reggae fusion band, so I didn't miss any of the comedy action. (And just as an aside, The Illest set the mood appropriately with their song selections, ranging from their originals to contemporary popular songs from artists like Bob Marley and Adele.) They really got the crowd going. And just when you were ready for more host comedian Rayzor got the show started as he put the crowd in a tizzy with his endless jokes about celebrities and the lives they lead.
The first act of the night was Bahamian comedian Demetrius. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when it came to Demetrius. And before he had even told the first joke he was already a comical sight, prancing onto the stage looking like super baby in a bonnet, poofy shoes and cape.
He regaled us with his humor about raising children and the comical life children lead when with grandparents. While the crowd was in stitches, there were moments during his act when I thought Demetrius tried too hard, because I didn't know whether to laugh at the joke, or at him in general. Nevertheless, he was good.
Then of course there was the Bahamian Mr. Brown, who took to the stage periodically to do his Mr. Brown booty tremble. It was pretty funny, but to be honest I really wanted to see the bad boys.
And the first one to bring it was Johnathan Martin, a comedian who has appeared not only in "Bad Boys of Comedy" but also "Def Jam" and "Comic View". Now talk about hilarious. This dude's show started with energy and he never let up.
He talked about the good old days when life was harder but easier. He talked about being raised by his loving, but thrifty mother and strict, but cheap father. Although he joked that his mother often bought irregular clothes and how he had to suffer wearing them throughout the years and his father often switched religions so he wouldn't have to buy his children presents or food, there was a message in what he was saying, and it was funny. The topics he addressed were something the people could all relate to.
If I thought that Martin was funny, then A.G. White was totally uproarious. He was a Caucasian comedian with an unfamiliar black audience but he was confident with it and threw caution to the wind when it came to telling his jokes.
He went from topics like how to cuss properly, growing up in New York to how stereotypical the world can be generally. And one of the best parts of his act for me was the Jamaican accent he used to add flavor to several jokes. But what really made him stand out to me throughout the night was how he entwined popular songs into his act to make his jokes almost three dimensional. And he was unafraid to cross boundaries and make jokes about himself and black people. But by no means were his jokes racist. They were applicable and I can honestly say he brought tears to my eyes -- that's how hard I laughed.
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the headliner, Brooklyn Mike brought the house down. Although his subject matter was limited to sex and relationships, for the most part he was the perfect cap to the event.
Brooklyn Mike's performance was stellar in describing why it's easier on females during a breakup than the male. He went into comedic detail about the crazy things people do for love even during a tumultuous relationship. He acted his jokes out and really got the crowd involved in the joke-telling. The only sore point for me in his performance was when he made a joke about robbery-rape role playing considering the recent headlines in local newspapers. But the crowd didn't seem to get too down on that point and he kept on riddling off hard-hitting jokes. By the end of the night my tummy was aching from the bellyful of laughs. The Bad Boys of Comedy show was definitely one of the best comedy shows I've attended recently. It was on point from start to finish. I was not disappointed.

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News Article
Beware the causes of hammertoe

Women who love to wear high heels, especially shoes with pointed toes, this is for you. Especially if you have noticed the bending of your toes, corns or pale or darker spots on the toes. If you have to grin and bear it when wearing your favorite high heel and can't wait to take them off because your little toe is "killing" you, you may have hammertoes.
Hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop.
Hammertoes usually start out as mild bending or deformities and get worse over time. In the early stages, hammertoes are flexible and the toe can be straightened out to its original shape. But if left untreated, hammertoes can become stiff or rigid and will stay in the bent position permanently.
Hammertoes seldom get better without some kind of intervention. Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, they should be treated early.

Causes
Hammertoe is caused by an imbalance in the muscle and tendon around the toe. Because of the way some people walk, mechanical (structural) changes can occur in the foot leading to this imbalance and bending of the toe.
Hammertoes are often made worse by shoes that don't fit properly. It may also result if a long toe is forced into a cramped position when a tight shoe is worn. In some people, hammertoes are inherited and occasionally, they can develop from an earlier trauma to the toe.

Symptoms
Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
o Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes - especially tight or pointed toe shoes.
o The tops of the toes may have skin that is darker that the rest of the toe. Sometimes, the area may be lighter in color that the rest of the toe especially if medicated corn pads were used.
o Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location.
o Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation.
o Contracture (permanent bending) of the toe.
o In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.

Diagnosis
To diagnose a hammertoe the podiatrist will obtain a history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During the physical exam, the podiatrist may try to straighten and manipulate your toes to study the contractures. In addition, x-rays of the foot will be taken to determine the extent of deformity in the toe. Hammertoes are progressive so they will not go away by themselves and will usually get worse over time. Some hammertoes progress quickly while others take a longer time.

Conservative treatment
There are a variety of treatment options for hammertoe. The podiatrist will choose a treatment based on the severity of your hammertoe and how it is impacting your feet and life. These may include any or all of the following.
o Padding corns and calluses. Your podiatrist can provide or prescribe pads designed to protect corns from irritation. There are also over-the-counter pads that can be used to avoid the medicated types. Medicated pads are generally not recommended because they may contain a small amount of acid that can be harmful. They can cause the color to change on the toe (darker or lighter) and may cause ulcers/sores to the toes. This is especially true for people with diabetes. They must never use medicated corn pads.
o Changes in shoe wear. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short or shoes with high heels. All these conditions can force your toe against the front of the shoes and encourage or aggravate hammer toes. Instead, wear comfortable shoes with a deep, roomy toe box and heels no higher than two inches.
o Orthotic devices. A custom orthotic device placed in your shoe may help control the muscle/tendon imbalance and prevent or delay the hammertoes.
o Injection therapy. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation caused by hammertoe.
o Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation in the toe.
o Splinting/strapping. Splints or small straps may be applied by the podiatrist to realign and straighten the bent toe.

When surgery is required
In some cases, when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, when the conservative treatment has not helped or when an open sore has developed, surgery is needed to treat the hammertoe.
The podiatrist will choose the best procedure to fix your hammertoe based on the extent of the deformity, the number of toes involved, your age, your activity level and other factors about your general health. The procedure can be performed to fix one or multiple toes at the same time. The recovery time will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed but can be between three to six weeks.

oFor more information on hammertoes visit www.foothealth.com or www.apma.org. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street telephone, 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820.

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News Article
Team Bahamas settling in at WJC

Before young Shaunae Miller and Anthonique Strachan head off to their first Olympic Games, they will make a pit stop at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships, where they are the favorites in their respective events.
Both have qualified in multiple events, but Miller will concentrate fully on defending her crown when the championships start on Bahamian Independence Day, July 10. The IAAF World Junior Championships will take place in Barcelona, Spain. A 25-member team is representing The Bahamas.
In the one individual event Miller will compete in, she has the second best time, 51.25 seconds, for juniors this year. American Ashley Spencer ran 50.95 seconds. Miller captured the gold medal, in 52.52 seconds, at the 13th annual championships held two years ago. 
The quartermiler has opted out of running in the 200m, even though she has the best time so far on the season by all athletes entered. Fellow teammate Strachan's time of 22.75 seconds makes her the favorite now. She sits right underneath Miller who has the leading time of 22.70 seconds.
Strachan is the front runner in the 100m with her season's best of 11.22 seconds. Carmiesha Cox will contest both the 100m and the 200m events while Rashan Brown will join Miller in the 400m.
President of the governing body for the sport in the country, Mike Sands, said the team will give Bahamians more to celebrate this Independence Day. Looking at the ranking charts, released by the IAAF last week, Sands is confident that they are going to get the job done.
"There is no doubt that these athletes will give the country much more to celebrate," said Sands, head of the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations (BAAA). "If they were to live up to their expectations and their performances seen this year, then we can expect some great things from them. I think The Bahamas will be in for a very special and pleasant Independence [Day] even after the celebrations are done. In some instances, if you look at the rankings, you would see that our athletes are among the top in the world on this level. That says a lot and speaks well about the expectations. It is a testament to the coaches themselves and the athletes. It shows their focus and dedication. The IAAF have a very stringent qualification mark so every athlete would have automatically met the IAAF qualifying standard."
The 25-member team is the largest ever fielded by the BAAA. This positive fact and the news coming in from the training camp which the team attended last week has left Sands smiling. Team Bahamas moved into the games village on Saturday, after an intense training camp in Barcelona.
He said: "The IAAF through the RDC, which is our development center for the region, set up a training camp for the athletes in this region. So a number of the athletes that were at Junior CAC went from that championships straight to the training camp. Up to the games, that will start on Independence Day, I believe that this team, the caliber of athletes and the qualifying positions on the junior world stage would make this the best team that The Bahamas has fielded."
The female athletes weren't the only ones sitting at number one on the listing. O'Jay Ferguson will settle into the blocks as one of the favorites in the 400m and Blake Bartlett in the 200m. Soaring his way to the number one spot was Ryan Ingraham who has cleared 2.28m, so far, this season. Twin brothers Latario and Lathone Collie-Minns were not about to be left out.
Latario has a best mark of 16.64m and Lathone landed 16.06m. The two are a shoe in for a medal at these games.
Up first for The Bahamas, on the opening day of competition, will be Moriel Pitt and Tre Adderley, lining up in the 110m hurdles event. The preliminary rounds of the boys' 100m will bring the first session on the opening day to a close. The Bahamas will be represented by Teray Smith and Anthony Farrington in that event.
The preliminary rounds of the boys' 400m will be the first event on the track, in the second session. This will be followed by the girls' 100m. Ferguson and Elroy McBride are the qualifiers for the boys' 400m while Strachan and Cox will take charge for Team Bahamas in the girls' 100m.
 
Team members
 

Boys
Teray Smith
100m
200m
4x100m
 

Anthony Farrington
100m
4x100m
 

Blake Bartlett
200m
4x100m
 

Elroy McBride
400m
4x400m
 

O'Jay Ferguson
400m
4x400m
 

Moriel Pitt
110m Hurdles
 

Tre Adderley
110m Hurdles
 

Ryan Ingraham
High Jump
 

Latario Collie-Minns
Triple Jump
 

Lathone Collie Minns
Triple Jump
 

Shane Jones
4x100m
 

Julian Munroe
4x400m
 

Janeko Cartwright
4x400m
 

Johnathan Farquharson
4x100m
 

Stephen Newbold
4x100m
4x400m
 

Girls
Carmiesha Cox
100m
200m
4x100m
 

Anthonique Strachan
100m
200m
4x100m
 

Tayla Carter
100m
200m
4x100m
 

Rashan Brown
400m
4x100m
 

Shaunae Miller
400m
 

Te'shon Adderley
800m
 

Devynne Charlton
100m Hurdles
4x100m
 

Devinn Cartwright
100m Hurdles
400m Hurdles
 

Pedrya Seymour
400m Hurdles
 

Makeya White
4x100m

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News Article
Social Services hit by scam

The Department of Social Services has been hit by a back-to-school scam, with fraudsters pretending to be in need, then selling government vouchers and pocketing cash, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin revealed yesterday.
"Once the client is known to Social Services, of course it dispenses [assistance] right away without the home inspection and that heavy assessment process because they're known, and we have their record already," said Griffin, who appeared as a guest on "Darold Miller Live" on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM.
"We have put in place a purchase order so the social worker no longer has to go, do a home assessment and then go and purchase the uniforms and the shoes for the client."
Griffin said there are approved vendors who people can take their purchase orders to and buy the uniforms directly, but people have found loopholes in the process.
"They are trying to sell it for cash," she said.
"If you go in the store with your purchase order and another customer is in the store, who is buying with cash, you try to get that customer to use your purchase order and give you the cash.
"In one situation, the person indicated to the vendor 'you know I already went away and got my child's stuff and now I need to pay my child's school fees'."
Although she did not detail how many cases of fraud have been perpetrated or the amount of money lost, the minister said up to $110 can be provided per child for primary school students and $135 for high schools students.
Social Services provides many forms of assistance, including food, temporary living accommodations, rent, and utility bills, among others.
However, to accommodate the increased demand for uniform assistance, Griffin said her ministry took steps to make the process simpler this year.
She said her ministry is reviewing and implementing new measures that will help protect the department against fraud.
Uniform assistance is normally grouped with other assistance programs in the government's annual budget with a provision of $250,000 to $260,000.
Griffin said the program was given its own line item in the 2012/2013 budget and its provision is now closer to $360,000.
She appealed to those who don't truly need the assistance to be mindful that there are many who do and warned fraudsters that they will be found and prosecuted.
"I know people don't like to be assessed, but [this is why] we really have to do the assessments because there are some persons out there who will always try to scam the system," she said.

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News Article
Men charged with murder of police reservist

The two men police believe are responsible for the shooting death of an off-duty police reservist were literally dragged into the South Street court complex to be charged with his murder yesterday.
Clemson Edgecombe, 22, and Andrew Gibson, 28, who appeared to have trouble getting up the steps, were carried up the stairs by officers to appear before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez.
At one point, Gibson stumbled causing his shoes to slip off his feet, leaving him barefoot, as police carried him inside.
Both men were charged with the murder and armed robbery of police reservist Dennis Clarke on May 31.
According to police, Clarke was outside Superwash on Prince Charles Drive last Thursday when the occupants of a silver Toyota in the parking lot reportedly approached and shot.
Gibson was unable to stand as the charges were read. He claimed that the entire left side of his body was in pain.
Meanwhile, Edgecombe was charged with another armed robbery that occurred on May 17.
Police claim Edgecombe robbed Pedro Brennan of $700 worth of goods and $200 cash.
Edgecombe's attorneys told the court that their client was beaten by police and forced to sign a statement.
Gibson's attorney, Stanley Rolle, said his client was also abused and was brought to court barefoot, something he described as inhumane.
Gomez ordered that both defendants be taken to see a doctor immediately. The men were not required to enter a plea today and will return to court on August 22 for service of a voluntary bill of indictment.

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News Article
Meet the man who turned Richard Branson away from the Roof Gardens
Meet the man who turned Richard Branson away from the Roof Gardens

When Richard Branson turned up at the Roof Gardens 31 years ago, the man on the door turned him away because he was dressed in jeans and scruffy shoes. Later that year Richard Branson bought the club.

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News Article
In the fight of her life

To look at her, you couldn't tell that Tamika Pratt, 36, is battling a disease that can cause life-threatening bleeding. A disease that is rare in people under age 40, and which generally occurs around age 60 and is a disease that is more common in men than women.
The mother of two is fighting for her life as she battles acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It's a cancer that grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells. The bone marrow, which helps the body fight infections, eventually stops working correctly. People with AML become more prone to infections and have an increased risk for bleeding as the numbers of healthy blood cells decrease. And it develops quickly, replacing healthy blood cells.
Pratt, a mother of two, Davonte, 17 and Jermika, 11 was diagnosed with the disease in September 2010. Since then her life has been a revolving door of hospital stays for chemotherapy treatment and blood transfusions. (She's had so many transfusions that she's stopped counting). And she's been in and out of remission. What she really needs to turn the tide of this disease is a bone marrow transplant. And she and her family have tried a few inventive ways to get her plight before the public, including offering cell phone cards in $5 and $10 denominations to the public in an effort to get them to donate blood to her cause. Most recently, Pratt took to the Internet to explain her plight in hopes of identifying a bone marrow transplant donor to hopefully provide her with a cure for the aggressive cancer that she has.
She is registered with bone marrow donor programs, but a compatible donor has not been found. And doctors in the United States have told her that the percentage for black Americans in the registry is very low.
"For me, time is running out. This is why I have decided to reach out to my Bahamian people for bone marrow. You could save my life," she said in her Internet appeal.
People between the ages of 18 and 60, in good general health who aren't greatly overweight or have or at a high risk for contracting HIV can be a potential donor. Even people with elevated blood pressure (hypertension) can still be a donor, once their hypertension is well controlled by medication. But they need to get tested to see if their bone marrow matches with Pratt's, through a simple swab of their cheek. The test costs approximate $200, but if you don't want to get tested in her e-mail, Pratt asks people to help someone with funding who would like to be tested to cover the cost of the test.
Symptoms of AML include bleeding from the nose, bleeding gums, bruising, bone pain or tenderness, fatigue, fever, heavy menstrual periods, pallor, shortness of breath (gets worse with exercise), skin rash or lesion, swollen gums (which is very rare) and weight loss.
At the time of Pratt's diagnosis she said she was just feeling extremely tired all the time. During her regular physical, her results showed that her counts were not normal. She was referred to a hematologist who did a bone marrow biopsy. It was determined she had myelodysplastic syndrome [MDS], or what is known as pre-leukemia. She was not worried at that point because she was told it was treatable, but that she had to seek treatment abroad. Less than a month later she had traveled to the United States to seek medical care. It was there that she was given a second bone marrow biopsy. The result this time was that the aggressive cancer had moved beyond MDS and she had leukemia.
The mother of two spent five weeks in hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments. From then to now, hospitals at home and in the United States have been a "revolving door" for her.
"I knew from the beginning that I would have to have a bone marrow transplant, but I was hoping the chemotherapy treatments would work and it wouldn't get to that," said Pratt. "But since this is my third relapse, I said I'd better try see what I could do for myself, so this is something I'm doing on my own trying to find people. I don't know where I'm going to get the money from, but somehow it's going to happen," said Pratt. People wishing to be tested have to pay out of their own pocket, or Pratt will have to "pony up" the cash and pay for them.
Sadly, she does not have any full siblings that can be tested to donate marrow. She has two half-siblings born to her mother, and another 10 half-siblings from her father who have not been tested, because there is only a one-percent chance they would be a match for her. Her mother and one sister have both been tested, but they are still waiting on the results. Her father is deceased.
Most of the time, a doctor cannot tell what caused AML, but there are things that they believe lead to some types of leukemia, including AML, like certain chemicals, certain chemotherapy drugs or radiation. It is also believed that problems with genes may also play a role in the development of AML and that the risk increases if a person has a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, or certain blood disorders.
Since her diagnosis, Pratt said she has not cried once or adopted a woe is me attitude. She says she has accepted what has happened and is taking one day at a time. She says while she tries to maintain a smile on her face and be upbeat, she admits to having her moments.
"Sometimes the devil comes in my mind," she said. "Christmas gone I went and picked up little things, and the devil came in my mind and said, 'Girl, what you picking up these things for? You ain't going to live to see Christmas,' but I simply said, 'Devil, you're a liar.' My son is graduating high school in June and sometimes I wonder if I will be there, but I'm going to be there," she said confidently.
As she searches for a bone marrow donor, she is appealing to Bahamians to donate blood to the hospitals because getting transfusions which has been getting her by, has also been a problem for her.
"I'm just pleading to the public to come forward ... and I wouldn't even go as far as the bone marrow transplant. If they could just put themselves in somebody else's shoe and commit to once a month donating a pint of blood, they could save somebody's life," she said. "If it don't hit them home, they don't feel like they need to do it. And I didn't realize how bad it was until it happened to me."
She admits to not knowing how important it is to be a blood donor until she found herself in the situation she is now in needing to have blood transfusions performed almost every other week.
Pratt's battle has also been expensive and she is thankful for her husband's insurance coverage. But exactly how much she has left of that gives her cause for concern.
"I'm scared to even try to add up the amount I've spent. I'm even scared to call the insurance company to find out how much coverage I have left. My first bill from [the U.S.-based facility] was almost $200,000 for the five weeks I spent there. I have my hospital bill there, my hospital bill here, and I have my doctor bill here. I have stopped asking. I'm afraid to ask," she says.
As she looks forward to her future she says she has no reason not to smile and be depressed because God has been good to her. And her husband, Jermaine Pratt stands by her. Plus she does everything she can to keep up a happy front for her children which she said was challenging initially because she tried to keep her illness from them.
"I didn't want to burden them down, so that was a challenge for me. Even when I went away the first time I told them I went away to do testing, but not what was going on with me. And that really had me stressed. After a while I told them separately and explained it to them differently, taking into account their ages. My daughter was pretty good, and the only thing my son wanted to know was whether it would happen to him too. But I told him no that he would be fine. They handled it so well. I didn't give them enough credit. Sometimes my son comes to me with questions, and once I answer him, he's fine.
As she searches for a bone marrow donor, in her fight to live, Pratt has been thrown a number of curve balls, including losing her job in the middle of 2011, which she says she's understanding of because she realizes her employer's office had to continue to run and her home was burgled. Thieves made off with money she had in a drawer to pay for an airline ticket to receive treatment. That was followed by her husband's car being broken into.

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News Article
Pain and swelling in the front of your lower legs means you have shin splints

Most athletes get shin splints at one time or another. But even if you aren't a professional athlete and at one time or other, you may have had to sprint to catch a bus or chase down your toddler, you may have shin splints if you feel throbbing and aching pains in your shins.

What are shin splints?
If you have pain and swelling in the front of your lower legs, you have shin splints. It is inflammation of the front of the lower leg and is also called tibial stress syndrome. The shin or shank bone is the tibia, the larger and stronger of the two bones in the lower leg that connects the knee with the ankle bones. It is one of the strongest weight-bearing bones in the body.
Shin splints are very common - especially in athletes. They cause 13 percent of all running injuries. They are often seen after runners increase their workout intensity (distance, length or speed) or change the surface they run on - like shifting from a dirt path to asphalt. Shin splints are also common in dancers, soccer players and can be seen in almost any athlete.

What causes shin splints?
Inflammation to the shin results from the repeated pulling of the muscles in the leg away from the shin. A number of factors can contribute to this including having flat feet, tight calf muscles, improper training techniques, overuse of the muscles causing them to become irritated and swollen, stress fractures (tiny breaks in the bone), worn out or improper workout shoes/sneakers, as well as running or walking on uneven surfaces.

What do shin splints feel like?
Most people with shin splints complain of dull, aching pain in the front of the lower leg. Some people feel it only during exercise; others feel it when they've stopped exercising. Sometimes, the pain can be constant.
Depending on the cause of the shin splints, the pain may be located on either side of the shinbone or in the muscles themselves. These painful, swollen muscles can sometimes irritate the nerves going to the feet, causing them to feel weak or numb.
Get help if the pain to the lower leg continues, it is recommended that you see your podiatrist for an evaluation and necessary treatment. To diagnose shin splints, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. They may want to see how you walk or run to look for any gait problems. In addition, x-rays or bone scans may be ordered to look for fractures.

Treatment for shin splints
Regardless of the cause of the shin splints, treatment is usually the same.
o Rest is vital to allow the area to heal. Take a break from your exercise routine allowing the muscles of the lower leg to rest and heal.
o Ice the shin to reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone.
o Anti-inflammatory painkillers. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will also help with pain and swelling.
o Arch supports for your shoes. Orthotics will help with flat feet and decrease muscle strains from over pronation.
o Stretching and range of motion exercises are very important to increase flexibility. Athletes must do warm-up and cool down exercises every time they work out.
o Neoprene sleeve shin guards can be used to support and warm the leg, especially during exercise or sports.
o Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your shins.
o Wear properly fitted, supportive shoes that are in good condition and not worn out.
o In very rare cases, surgery is needed for severe stress fractures.

When will shin splints heal?
You cannot predict exactly when the shin splints will heal; it depends on what caused it in the first place and how well you are following the treatment recommendations. It can take anywhere from three to six months to resolve. The most important thing is not to rush back into your sport. If you start exercising too soon before your shin splints are healed, you cause permanent damage.
I know it is very difficult for someone who exercises regularly to not exercise. While the shin splints are healing, you could take up a new non-impact sporting activity that won't aggravate your shin splints like swimming, cycling, weightlifting, etc.
Shin splints are fully healed when the injured leg is as flexible as the other leg, it feels as strong as the other leg and you can jog, sprint, and jump without pain. X-rays are repeated and will be normal, showing that the stress fractures have healed.

How to prevent shin splints
To prevent shin splints, you should always wear shoes with good support and padding, warm up before working out, ensuring that you stretch the muscles in your legs. Stop working out as soon as you feel pain in your shins and don't run or play on hard surfaces. It is better for your feet and legs to work out on a wooden floor, packed dirt/sand rather than asphalt or concrete.

For more information on shin splints email foothealth242@gmail.com or visit www.footphysicians.com or www.webmd.com. To see a podiatrist, visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates on Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820.

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