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Compartment syndrome

Exercise is an important aspect that we should all be doing to stay healthy. Many people take up running as an inexpensive way of staying in shape. You might have signed up for a ‘Couch to 5K’ race and are motivated to hit the pavement. Little did you know that your lower legs would stop your progress at 3KM every single run. You try to push through the pain, but your legs feel like they are burning and numbness starts to set into your toes. What happens when the exercise that is supposed to be good for you is causing you pain? Different types of pain with activity can occur due to poor biomechanics, lack of stretching, or because of a muscle imbalance. Pain in the lower leg, predominately the shin area, could indicate the beginnings of compartment syndrome.

Compartment syndrome usually only bothers you with activity and tends to act up at the same time or distance into that activity on each occasion. The increased blood flow to muscles that occurs with exercise increases the size of the muscles, therefore also increasing the pressure. The compartment of the front of the leg, where the affected muscles are located tends not to be large enough for the swollen muscles which can cause pain.

Massage Therapy can help! Massage can help lengthen the muscles being affected and reduce the areas of muscle thickening. Massage can also help stretch the layer of ‘fascia’ (the layer surrounding the muscles) which can help reduce compression on the soft tissues of the compartment. Massage along with proper stretching and warming up the muscles prior to exercise can all help with the healing process. If you are having leg pain, Book a massage today!