Exercise is a major cause of this painful condition. Compartment syndrome is a result of pressure buildup in the muscles combined with a decrease in blood flow and oxygen. Learn more about what causes it and how it’s treated.

Causes & Triggers

  • Anabolic steroid use
  • Exercise/athletic exertion
  • Fractures
  • High-impact injuries (resulting in severely bruised muscle)
  • Neurological impairment (alcohol or drug intoxication)
  • Tight casts or bandages (constricts blood flow)

Signs & Symptoms

  • Aching
  • Burning
  • Cramping
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tightness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

Tips & Treatments

  • This condition can be acute (sudden onset) or recurring (chronic).
  • Acute compartment syndrome requires immediate emergency surgery.
  • Depending on severity, chronic compartment syndrome may require surgery.
  • Non-surgical treatment including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Stopping exercise or changing activity may relieve symptoms¾but only temporarily.
  • Without proper diagnosis and treatment, permanent tissue damage is possible.
These lists are not inclusive of all conditions and procedures. In order to obtain a complete and accurate diagnosis, a physician should assess your individual situation. Following diagnosis, your physician will discuss appropriate treatment options with you – both surgical and non-surgical. Schedule an appointment with an Orthopedic ONE physician.