Compartment Syndrome



  • I have had chronic/severe calf issues, stemming directly from running, for the last 5 years.  During any episode, I was unable to walk heel to toe for anywhere from 1 week to 1 month.  With the exception of a sprained ankle, I was relatively trouble free prior to my calf issues for a dozen years.  I searched the web, including this website, and found all sorts of cures: rollers (bought one) and it is great, but not permanent, Magnesium pills (a suggestion I found on this website) indeterminate as to helpful.  I have used tennis balls, stretched, and the best string of running months was 2-3 months, but I generally crapped out at 2-3 weeks, only having run 2 miles or less in any given outing.  When my calves seized up, there was no amount of stretching that would remove the tightness I would experience.  I went to a specialist at UVA and we discussed surgery for Compartment Syndrome and we also developed a plan of walking/running to trick my calves into taking the load.  Part of this plan was to get PT.  My therapist wanted to try Dry Needling to relieve trigger points in my calves, something she had already done for another injury, and that is what we did.  I have been running for 3 months now, with a mild episode 3 weeks ago.  Prior to this episode, my previous 6 runs had been for 5-7 miles with little problem.  I have been back to PT and never stopped running, but was able to run 2 miles, 3.5 miles, and then 5 miles in the the week and a half of this last go round of PT.  I am not bragging about my accomplishments here, but want to make known that Dry Needling is a definite option to surgery (something that I did not, and won't pursue). I am 43 and an avid runner, I ran religiously everyday from age 24 to 37.  From 33-37  I was only doing maintainance runs of 2 miles or so.  My goal now is to be able to run 5 miles twice a week and it seems to be working well.  If you experience unexplainable tightness in your calves look into Dry Needling.

  • It's worth getting a full assessment from an experienced physio. Like someone has posted CS can turn out to be lumbar spine radiculopathy. Also before opting for surgical intervention, try acupuncture (trigger point) and deep sports massage as well as correcting your running technique, orthotics and strengthening gluteus medius. See Like us on Facebook for your nearest clinic.
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