Many people suffer from pains in the leg, but don’t know what causes these pains. Well, there are quite a few things that could cause these pains. Most often, these pains are caused by normal wear and tear, injuries to any part of the leg (muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons), and overuse. Another common cause of these leg pains are blood clots that form in your veins, or varicose veins. These can cause swelling, pain, or even open sores. Narrow arteries which can reduce the blood flow in the legs can also lead to worse pain. This pain can be improved with simply letting your legs rest. Leg infections can cause this pain as well. A common cause of leg pain that many runners get is muscle cramps, or a “charley horse”. These can be caused by muscle fatigue, dehydration, or heat. Gently stretching the muscle will usually help. Also try applying heat or cold to the muscle. Another common pain that athletes experience are shin splints, which happen when the connective tissues and muscles on the edge of the bone are inflamed. Common causes of these include running or jumping. Torn muscles or torn inflamed tendons, or tendonitis, usually shows up in the lower calf or on the back of the heel. Using ice will help. Broken bones or sprained ankles can cause pains. Remembering the acronym RICE will help. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Knowing what causes your pains will help you determine how you can ease the pain.