What is compartment syndrome?
Compartment syndrome can be acute or chronic. Physiotherapists are more likely to treat chronic compartment syndrome as acute compartment syndrome is considered a medical emergency.
Each group of muscles in your body, along with the blood vessels and nerves that run close by are contained in layers of tissue called fascia. The fascia keeps the tissue in place and the tissues can’t expand or stretch easily so if bleeding or swelling occurs, pressure within the compartment can increase easily.
What causes compartment syndrome?
Compartment syndrome is caused by swelling or bleeding within a muscle compartment’ which is an enclosed bundle of muscle.
Acute compartment syndrome can occur after a crush injury or fracture. This is a medical emergency because the high pressure can cause permanent nerve and muscle damage.
What are the symptoms of compartment syndrome?
There are different symptoms of compartment syndrome depending on whether you have acute compartment syndrome or chronic compartment syndrome.
Symptoms of acute compartment syndrome:
- Intense pain, particularly when the muscle affected is stretched
- Tingling or burning skin
- Tight muscles
Chronic compartment syndrome:
- Cramping pain when exercising, most often in the leg
- Difficulty moving your foot
- Muscle bulking
Chronic compartment syndrome is much less serious than acute compartment syndrome and may come on slowly and is often after a long period of exercise doing the same motion such as running or cycling.
How is compartment syndrome diagnosed?
Acute compartment syndrome will be treated and diagnosed in hospital, normally because you are in the hospital emergency department after an accident.
Chronic compartment syndrome can be diagnosed by a physiotherapist following an in-depth assessment.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for compartment syndrome?
There are several different treatment options for compartment syndrome. Following assessment, your physiotherapist will create a tailor made treatment plan for you, based on your lifestyle and goals.
Your physiotherapist will choose the most appropriate physiotherapy treatment methods for you, based on your symptoms and how you respond to different treatment methods. Usually a combination of treatment methods are used.
Treatment can include:
- Soft tissue massage
- PNF stretches
- Orthotic use
- Taping for arch support
- Biomechanic correction
- Footwear advice
- Flexibility exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Activity modification advice
- Weight loss advice
Most patients with compartment syndrome recover well following proper rehabilitation. Recovery can be a few weeks to a few months. Some people may not improve and further investigations may be required such as scans.
Benefit of physiotherapy for compartment syndrome?
There are many benefits of physiotherapy for compartment syndrome and it is best to seek physiotherapy as quickly as possible in order for you to recover in the shortest space of time and prevent re-injury.The particular benefits you feel from physiotherapy will be based on your original symptoms and treatment goals.
Physiotherapy assists with:
- Decreased pain
- Increased function
- Increased flexibility
- Increased strength
Don't let pain win...
Our Expert Physiotherapists specialise in providing the latest in physiotherapy treatments and techniques in order to get you pain free as soon as possible, cure the cause of your pain and help you to return to pre-injury levels of activity.
Furthermore, we'll also give you a bespoke exercise and rehabilitation program, and advise you on how to prevent re-injury and remain pain free.
At Farrell Physiotherapy we work with some of the uk's top insurance companies to ensure you're covered.
We can accept payment from AXA (PPP), Bupa, PruHealth, simplyhealth and Standard Life, if you have any questions about alternative payment methods, please get in touch with us using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we'll get back to you asap!
I was referred to Ben after a road traffic accident for pain in my neck. The service I received was excellent. He not only treated my neck pain but also helped me to correct my bad posture which was not aiding my recovery.
Ben is extremely friendly and gives a very professional service and I can’t thank him enough for resolving the problem. I would highly recommend him.
- Carol Joyce
I have recently completed a course of treatment with Ben Farrell and am pleased to highly recommend him to others. I went to see Ben when I was suffering with extreme pain due to a trapped nerve in my neck which caused pain to radiate into my shoulder, arm and hand. I got an appointment very quickly and Ben was able to diagnose the problem and work on alleviating the pain. Part of the treatment has involved improving my longstanding poor posture which I’ve had since a child and believed was something that could not be changed. Ben has also advised me on how to continue to work on this to avoid this problem from reoccurring in the future.
- Judith Woosnam
I visited the practice on personal recommendation following a doctor’s diagnosis of an as then unspecified “shoulder injury”. I had seen my GP as the increasing pain in my arm and shoulder was not only preventing me from lifting my arm above 90%, but was also increasingly stopping me from sleeping at night.
After an initial diagnosis session where Ben Farrell had quickly identified the actual problem, I then undertook a course of hands on physiotherapy and an increasing program of exercise. In view of the complexity of the problem (which I was advised had been going on for far longer than I has know), the physiotherapy program was, therefore, pretty comprehensive, however, always with excellent support and guidance from Ben along the way.
I am very pleased with the results and I am now both playing much better golf and getting a full night’s sleep. And, I have no problems lifting my arm its full range!!!! So, the next thing on the agenda will be the golf game at Benton Hall.
Before visiting Ben I had been suffering from pain in my achillies tendons, which had stopped me from running my first half marathon. I had previously visited other physios local to me but had made no improvement. On my first visit ,Ben immediately diagnosed that my problem was coming from an old lower back injury. I was impressed that he was determined to treat the root cause of the injury (back) and provide a long term cure, and not just focus on a short term treatment of my achilles. Ben’s friendly but straight talking manner made my visits very enjoyable. I was so impressed that I took my 14 year old son to see Ben when he had an injury prior to a very important football trial. I would not hesitate to highly recommend Ben to anyone .
- Mike Smith
Couldn’t have asked for a better service than I got in just 4 weeks I spent with Mr Farrell.
My first appointment with Mr Farrell was 4 weeks prior to running the London marathon and I was in no fit state to be able to run it due to a knee injury. Mr Farrell gave me a number of exercises to completely daily and a handful of one on one sessions as well. He also advised me on picking a better pair of running shoes to support my foot shape and create less pain in my knee.
A combination of the hard work put in by Mr Farrell and myself I managed to complete the marathon in just over 4 hours. A great achieve considering I couldn’t run for 4 months prior to the race due to my knee. My only regret was not going to see Mr Farrell earlier! Then I may have be able to probably train for it. Would highly recommend Mr Farrell to anyone, a very professional service and great results.
- Fraser Murray
One of the main things I learnt when you treated me was your ability to dispel some of the old chestnuts about joint pain. Through your physiotherapy and advice I now walk more and cycle a lot. I do not rest up when I have a flair up, I do the maximum exercise I can without causing to great a discomfort to my joints. I avoid Painkillers if at all possible.
I can honestly say that you have helped me to take a new outlook on life. Thank you.
Ben Farrell was very thorough and professional when I went to him for treatment on my tennis elbow. He treated my posture as well as the elbow. The exercises he taught me both enabled the pain to go away and stay away, thus doing himself out of work! He and all his staff were very pleasant and friendly and I would recommend him unreservedly.
- Shane Murphy
Ben is an excellent physiotherapist who provided a considered care plan that enabled me to achieve my goals. Ben in his unique professional and personable manner demonstrated judgement and considerable experience to assist my recovery
After suffering persistent shoulder pain for several months I went to Farrell Physiotherapy on the recommendation of my husband.
After only a short course of treatment and undertaking daily exercises I am now pain free.
I would gladly recommend Farrell Physiotherapy to any person requiring physiotherapy treatment.
- C Wiltshire
I received excellent treatment for a foot and knee complaint that I thought would need an operation. It was very debilitating. However, after my course of physiotherapy sessions and continuation of exercises to do at home, I am now pain free and back to my normal exercise routine at the gym.
- C Dobinson
Little Waltham Road,
Spinks Ln, Witham,
Essex, CM8 1EP