Excessive pressure within an isolated segment of muscle (a muscle compartment) causes chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Exercise increases the blood supply to working muscles, making them expand. If the connective tissue (fascia) that holds the muscle fibers together in a compartment doesn't also expand, pressure builds up in the compartment. Over time, the pressure cuts off some of the muscle's blood supply, leading to chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

Some experts suggest that biomechanics — how you move — may have a role in causing chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Other causes may include having enlarged muscles, an especially thick or inelastic band of tissue (fascia) surrounding a section of muscle, or high pressure within your veins (venous hypertension).

Feb. 20, 2013

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