What is anterior compartment syndrome?

Running may seem like a straightforward activity to take up to improve your fitness. However, it is not quite as straightforward as it may seem with some research showing that up to 70% of runners get an injury each year. Depending upon how serious that injury is and just how it is maintained, many runners just give up and never continue to run. The reasons for running overuse injury are multifactorial but they are related to problems for example doing too much running too early before allowing the body to adjust to the increased degrees of exercise. Poor running footwear with characteristics that do not go with those of the runners needs will also be an issue. Problems with foot biomechanics and also the running technique can also be problems at raising the probability for an injury.

A good example of an overuse injury is anterior compartment syndrome. There is fibrous fascia around muscles which contain the muscles in position. In the event that fascia is tight, once we exercise the muscle will need to expand however that tight fascia inhibits it. That pressure within the fascia compartment may be painful. In anterior compartment syndrome, this affects the muscles that are on front of the leg. The most frequent cause of this problem is what is known as overstriding. In this the runner is hitting the ground with their front leg too far in ahead of the body. To lower the foot to the ground, the anterior leg muscles need to work harder. As they continue to work harder, the muscles expand and if the fascia will not allow it, then this results in being painful. It will only be painful when running and will not be painful when not running. The simplest way to deal with anterior compartment syndrome to use techniques for the runner to shorten their stride length in order that the front foot does not make contact with the ground too far ahead of the body when running.