Friday, July 24, 2009

Health Tips for July 24

Health Tip: Avoiding Shin Splints

Shin splints are fairly common among athletes and people engaging in other forms of strenuous exercise. The injury is characterized by pain and soreness running down the large bone in the lower leg.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers this list of common risk factors for shin splints:

  • Having foot abnormalities, such as flat feet or rigid arches.
  • Jogging or running for exercise.
  • Dancing strenuously.
  • Training for the military.
  • Suddenly increasing exercise, including intensity and duration.

Health Tip: Clogged Ears On a Plane?

Changes in altitude, such as those you experience when flying, can cause an uncomfortable "clogged" feeling in your ears.

If you try to relieve the pressure by blowing your nose too hard, you could perforate the eardrum or force bacteria into the deeper parts of the ear.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions to help you safely relieve pressure in the ears when flying:

  • About an hour before your flight is scheduled to leave, take a decongestant.
  • Try yawning to gently relieve pressure as altitude changes.
  • Keep swallowing to help unclog ears.
  • Chew a piece of gum while the plane ascends and descends.
  • If your ears still feel clogged, inhale, hold your nose, and very gently exhale with your mouth closed until you feel relief. Be very careful not to do this with too much force.

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