I am a soccer player at the University of Portland.
When i was around 12 years old, I started to get a little bit of calf pain when we would warm up for practice. I would try to cramp as everyone told me to do, but the stretching never seemed to help much. as practice went on the tightness would go away or i would stop thinking about it.
the problem persisted and i would feel pain and/or tightness while running and jogging, but it never stopped me from practicing or playing. i was able to do everything my team was doing.
by the time i was 17 and running with my club team in the hills, things had gotten worse. while running in the hills, the pain became worse and although i have always been faster than most and have pretty good endurance, i was forced to jog for a bit and then walk for even longer. as long as i wasn't in the hills though, i didn't have many problems and could still practice and play.
when i started my first year at UP in the fall of 2006, the increased training was not good for my legs. i started having to sit out of fitness sessions because the running was just too much. at the worst times, i would experience calf pain in the large calf muscle in the back of my leg, pain down in my soleus (sp?), and tingling in the soles of my feet. I got through the season and in february 2007 i was diagnosed with chronic compartment syndrome and had surgery that same month. i had all 4 compartments in both legs released. things seemed to go pretty well during my recovery, but about 4 months later when i started training heavily again, the pain came back. i trained similarly to the way i had before surgery for the rest of the year and through my sophomore season (absolutely no long runs, few fitness sessions, no hills, no stairs). another test after the season confirmed that my pressures were still high and in december of 2007 i had another bilateral fasciotomy. any pain that i had before the first surgery in the front and outside of my legs had gone away, so this time they just did the posterior compartments.
again though, when i started training heavily again in about march or april, the pain came back. for a while i decided i would just deal with my legs, but recently the problem has been extremely frustrated and in march i started trying to find a solution. in march i was tested again for compartment syndrome, but my pressures were normal. so far i have seen orthopedic surgeons, vascular surgeons, neuromuscular surgeons, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. i have had the pressure test, running evaluation, , emg, mri, mra, bone scan, x-ray, and other tests i can't remember. so far the only thing left we can think of is a muscle biopsy, everything else has turned out perfectly.
the pain comes on very shortly after i start running or exercising and is a painful tightness and weakness. it is like a deep burning. after i stop running or exercising, the pain goes away pretty quickly. sometimes i notice some discomfort while i am just sitting, but never very noticeably. one interesting thing is that i can produce very strong cramps in my calves simply by pointing my feet either down or in.
i have tried insoles and they didn't help much.
so if its not compartment syndrome, anything vascular or neuromuscular, anyone have any ideas? i have plans of playing after college, and getting my legs fixed would definitely help.
thanks for taking the time!
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