Faculty Advisor(s)

Kirsten Buchanan

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2018 Erica Mazzarelli


Background and Purpose: Although barefoot running has been investigated for anterior and lateral exertional compartment syndrome, a specific barefoot running program aimed at altering running mechanics has not been determined for posterior exertional compartment syndrome for a college lacrosse player. The purpose of this case report was to examine the effects of adopting a forefoot running pattern through a barefoot running program in a 20-year-old college lacrosse player with posterior chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) in conjunction with a comprehensive physical therapy program. Case description: The patient was a 20-year-old female college lacrosse player who presented to physical therapy with a 9-month history of bilateral, posterior lower leg pain, which was brought on by running on pavement, up hills, and longer than 5-10 minutes. The patient reported extreme tightness and throbbing in the posterior lower leg and numbness and tingling into the feet while running on pavement and long distance runs greater than 1 mile. The patient was seen 1-2x/week for twelve weeks. Outcomes: DF ROM improved from lacking 16° to lacking 8° on the right and lacking 12° to lacking 4° on the left. All hip and ankle strength improved from 4-4+/5 to 5/5 throughout. The LEFS improved from 9% disability to 5% disability. The patient’s running tolerance improved from 1 min shod to 12 min barefoot before experiencing tightness in her legs. Discussion: Barefoot running, in conjunction with manual therapy, lower extremity (LE) stretching, strengthening, and stabilization exercises was found to be effective at improving running tolerance for a female college lacrosse player. Future research should investigate the efficacy of barefoot running programs and appropriate timelines for progression in patients with posterior CECS.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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