The lower leg has a number of muscle compartments. Each compartment is enveloped by a thick, relatively stiff tissue called fascia. Compartment Syndrome is a common problem in distance runners when the tissues within the compartments become inflammed as a result of overuse.
It is sometimes referred to as ‘Exertional Lower Limb Pain’ and results in cramp-like pain, which is brought on by sport and usually it takes about 20 minutes of running before the pain gradually rises to the point where the person can no longer continue. Usually the pain is transient and will ease with rest.
Osteopathy can help with deep soft tissue massage and stretching to the swollen muscles. Orthotics (insoles) can also correct any faulty foot biomechanics. If the symptoms persist, however, surgery may be necessary to cut the fascia and allow the muscles to expand during exercise.