What is anterior compartment syndrome in the leg?

Running is a popular sports activity not only with regard to basic physical fitness but also for getting into good shape for competition in various other sporting activities in addition to being a competitive sports activity by itself. Running is comparatively easy to undertake, can be done anytime and just about anywhere and also the obstacle to starting is minimal and simply includes a adequate pair of running footwear. Nonetheless, running isn't really without its problems and up to 50% of all runners can get an overuse injury in a 12 month period. This can range from a minor niggle that does not reduce their running to a severe enough condition that they can need to take a considerable time away from running to get better. The crucial cause of these overuse injuries is merely performing too much too soon ahead of the tissues are able to get adapted to the strains that all the running places on them.

A particular overuse injury that used to prove tricky to deal with is referred to as anterior compartment syndrome which causes soreness around the front of the lower leg. It is one of many less common causes which get labeled in the phrase shin splints. All the muscles in the body are locked in place having a tissue referred to as fascia. When you exercise that fascia has to expand a little to accommodate the exercising muscle that swells somewhat. What happens in an anterior compartment syndrome is the anterior tibial muscle actually starts to expand when running and the fascia is simply too restricted and doesn't let it happen. This will cause pain any time exercising which goes away once you stop exercising. This could actually get very painful since it does restrict blood flow for the muscle.

Ordinarily the therapy for anterior compartment syndrome has always been a challenge. Conditioning or stretching out of the muscles will not help and neither could any other exercises. In the past, the only choices were to cease exercising or undergo surgery. There are several solutions which did get proposed and many still are, but they typically don't have good results. The surgical procedures are to cut the fascia to allow for the muscle to be expanded. The success with this is normally very good and recovery is very good as it's simply soft tissue surgery and no bone is actually necessary. For years, approach was the only real option. More recently research has shown when a runner adjusts their running style from a rearfoot strike pattern to a forefoot strike, this significantly cuts down that action of the anterior tibial muscle and substantially cuts down the signs and symptoms of anterior compartment syndrome. The alteration from heel striking to front foot striking really does lessen the load on the anterior tibial muscle, but it does increase the stresses on other tendons. What this means is the change must be carried out slowly to let the greater stress on the other body parts time to get used to the higher stresses. Not everybody can do it and it's also commonly a wise course of action to work with a running technique coach to have the correct advice. This running technique change normally requires several months.

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