Shin Pain - Shin Splints Blog Series Part 2

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome

What?
It is described as increased pressure within an enclosed space which reduces blood flow and tissue perfusion. Unlike shin splints, pain is usually increased with exertion and relieved with rest. The most common area is the anterior compartment (front of the shin) which causes pain in the front and outside of the shin. The syndrome is frequently bilaterally.

Why?
It can be caused by overuse of the muscles causing inflammation and a loss of elasticity of the fibrous covering. When the muscles are used, they try to expand but are restricted by the fibrous covering. This causes a build-up of pressure which in turn causes ischaemic pain.

Clinical features
• Minimal to no pain at rest
• Pain is described as an ache and there can be an associated feeling of tightness
• Pain caused by exertion
• Pain dissipates after a few minutes of rest
• Very rarely is there numbness or weakness

Risk Factors
• Distance runners
• Aerobic training
• Repetitive overuse
• Reduced microcirculation capacity
• Tight muscles

Treatment
• Deep massage therapy
• Dry needling
• Exercise modification
• Correction of biomechanical abnormalities
• Modifying footwear

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, our experienced physiotherapists can help. Call us on 9361 3777 to make an appointment.