Chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) is a difficult problem for runners and running athletes. It can keep them from training. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss this common problem and its usual symptoms.

Salam Mulhem asks:
Hi Doc!
Have there been cases of CECS where the athlete hasn’t experienced numbness or tingling as part of their symptoms? Thanks, this site has been very, very helpful!

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an uncommon source of pain and disability in athletes. Most frequently, it causes leg pain in running athletes, but occasionally it is seen in the forearms of throwing athletes, such as pitchers.

Compartment syndrome occurs when the muscles of part of the body swell with activity. In runners, this muscle swelling occurs in part or all of the leg. This swelling causes discomfort or even severe pain while the athlete is running, but it usually gets better with rest. Over time, this swelling and pain increase to the point that it limits the runner’s ability to complete a training session. He or she will often notice, in addition to pain and swelling, numbness and tingling in the foot. As symptoms progress, the athlete might notice pain with activities of daily living, such as fast walking.

In the video, I discuss the symptoms of CECS as well as the treatments that can help the affected athlete.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Recovery from chronic exertional compartment syndrome
Ask Dr. Geier: Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

Runner with leg pain and swelling

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