Compartment Syndrome

pain in the foot for compartment syndrome

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What is a Compartment Syndrome? Here are the symptoms and causes of this condition


Compartment syndrome occurs when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed muscle group in the foot. The high pressure in compartment syndrome impedes the flow of blood to and from the affected tissues, causing pain, numbness and tingling. There are 2 types of this condition — chronic exertional compartment and acute compartment.

Moreover, there is swelling in the compartment between the muscles and the surrounding fascia (a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing the muscles) of that compartment. The swelling impedes all surrounding structures, including arteries, veins and nerves.

What are the symptoms of compartment syndrome?

Acute Compartment symptoms:

  • intense pain — usually more painful than you might expect from your injury
  • increased pain when you stretch your affected muscle
  • your skin may look pale and feel cold to touch
  • tight muscles when you stretch
  • tingling or burning in the skin
  • numbness and paralysis

Chronic compartment symptoms:

  • pain or cramping during exercise that stops once the activity stops
  • difficulty moving your foot
  • a muscle bulge big enough to see

What causes compartment syndrome?

Acute compartment usually develops after a serious injury such as a bone fracture or a crush injury.

Other causes include:

  • very tight bandages or plaster casts
  • snake bite
  • a severe burn
  • severe bruising
  • anabolic steroid use
  • blood flow building up after blocked circulation

Additionally, chronic compartment is usually caused by repetitive exercise, such as running or cycling, that leads to swelling.

Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assess and recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞



We hope you have a loveLEG day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team


Check our latest blog about Charcot Arthropathy here

Read our blog about Heel Pain here

Check our blog about Calcaneal Cuboid Syndrome here

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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.