What is Compartment Syndrome?

Muscles, blood vessels and nerves are surrounded by layers of tissue called fascia; this helps to encompass particular muscle groups, creating ‘compartments’.

Compartment syndrome may occur when the pressure within a muscle group increases e.g. swelling, affecting the function of muscles and tissues.

Acute CS

  • Medical emergency caused by severe injury
  • Can result in permanent muscle damage

Chronic CS

  • Also known as exertion CS, most often caused by athletic exertion
  • Not a medical emergency

Chronic CS is far less serious than Acute CS. Mainly affecting our lower limbs, it is gradual in onset and is more common in running or cycling sports. It often causes cramping pain on activity, which eases when the activity is stopped. It can also reduce range of movement and muscle bulging is often noticeable.

At Jonathan Clark Physiotherapy we offer advice on activity modification, stretching, resting and icing the affected area. We can help you to select appropriate low impact activities whilst your injury resolves; as well as providing information on foot biomechanics to relieve stress exerted through the lower limb. Our therapists can also refer you to your GP for anti-inflammatory pain relief.