I have been running for quite some time now and recently I have started
suffering from severe cramping in my shins. I usually can only run for
about 5 minutes and the pain starts up. My shins cramp up so tight that I
have to stop running. It takes a while after I stop running for the
cramping to go away and my shins to relax. I have been reading a lot about
anterior compartment syndrome and was wondering how the symptoms differ from
shin splints. I am currently training for a marathon and I am concerned how
this might impact my training!!
Shelly, one is a mechanical problem where the tendonous insertions are being damaged at the bone (shin splints), and the outcome, long term, is potentially stress fractures. Usually, a biomechanical solution - orthotics - resolve the problem, and recurrence is prevented. On the other hand, compartment syndrome is caused by an ischemic compression of the shin muscles in the fascial sheath that the muscle lives in leading eventually to cell death unless pressure is relieved. Surgery is the solution to severe compartment syndrome (read the previous post). Good luck.