Your lower legs are called on to carry the weight of your body throughout your daily life. Because of the stresses placed on them, you may find yourself suffering from shin and calf pains. These pains are also among the more common aches faced by anyone who runs or plays a sport. Reasons for shin and calf pain include running or playing on hard surfaces but they can also result from wearing the wrong shoes or regularly climbing stairs. Here are a few tips for finding relief: Tip #1: Increase Your Flexibility With Stretching Stretching is important when running or performing any other exercise. Weak shin muscles along with tight calf muscles cause shin splints. Stretching may help to strengthen your shin muscles. You'll want to stretch on the days when you are not active as well as right after you have been active. Focus on stretching your legs and lower back along with your upper back and any other areas that feel tight or stiff. Regular stretching can limit the risk of injury and of pain resulting from over-use and impact. Tip #2: Rest and Seek Medical Help Shin splints are usually the result of inflammation in the muscles along the edge of the shinbone. This type of inflammation can make it painful to run or jump. Similarly, pain in your lower calf may be a sign of an inflamed Achilles tendon. This condition is also called tendonitis and may result from the calf muscle being overworked. Icing and resting your legs can help to ease inflammation especially if you take anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen as well. If the pain persists, you'll want to see your doctor. Persistent calf pain may be a sign of a torn Achilles tendon or micro fractures. Tip #3: Get the Right Shoes Your feet may need more stability and/or cushioning. Choose your shoe based on whether you have flat feet, high arches or neutral feet. Excessive pronation may be a problem if your feet are flat. Pronation's when the feet roll inward. High arched feet are the opposite of flat feet as the arches are very well defined. The result is rigidity in the feet and this may lead to excessive supination. Supination is when the feet roll outward. Excessive pronation and supination are causes of shin splints and calf pain due to tendonitis. Neutral feet are more sound and less prone to these problems. Other solutions aside from replacing your shoe include using heel lifts. Heel lifts will keep your calves from having to stretch as far. If you're dealing with shin and calf pain, you may want to consult a physical therapist or physician. Use the tips above to ease the pain until you're able to get medical help.