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Iliotibial-band Syndrome - Tips to keeping you injury free

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Keeping my iliotibial-band (ITB) healthy has always been a personal struggle for me as a runner and cyclist. Being a former office jockey, I spent countless hours of my day sitting in chairs staring at computer screens. This sedentary position resulted in shortening of my hip flexors and stressing of my hip extensors, both of which makes for unhealthy and angry ITBs. And when it came to perform my daily activity of running or cycling I’d end up limping home with excruciating pain in my knee. It had gotten so bad that I had to give up running for two years.

 

I had two breakthroughs in my life which have corrected my ITB issues. One, running “barefoot” and the other is deep tissue and myofascial massage. By targeting the muscles around the hip which affect the tracking ability of the ITB, I have been able to correct my muscle imbalance. Resulting in unhindered running and cycle performance.

 

I came across this brief but very helpful article in Runner’s World magazine. The article offers some great self help tips including self massage. Enjoy!

B and Aid - A rehab plan to help you get over iliotibial-band syndrome

Aug 2009, Runner’s World Magazine

 

Running injuries aren't always what they seem. That's especially true with iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). The iliotibial band is a piece of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. If it's tight or infl amed (often due to overtraining), it can cause knee pain. The ITB attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint. When the ITB isn't working properly, movement of the knee (and, therefore, running) becomes painful. Since 33 percent of Runner's World readers reported having ITBS in the past year, we developed this rehab plan to treat it.

 

Stretch

 

Many yoga poses stretch the ITB, but some are too intense for tight leg muscles. Here's a gentler move: Lie down, arms extended out, knees bent, right knee crossed over your left. Drop both knees to the left as you roll to the left hip. Rest your right foot on the ground and keep your right shoulder down. Hold for two to three minutes. (Connective tissue needs time to release.) Repeat on the other side.

 

Strengthen

 

On a run, your thigh moves inward after your foot hits the ground. Too much of this can cause ITBS. But if you strengthen your glutes, they can off set this inward motion. Lie on your right side. Bend your left knee and rest your left ankle just below the right knee. Keep your ankle there; lift your left knee; lower. Do two sets of eight reps on each leg. Too easy? Put an ankle weight just above the knee.

 

Massage

 

Deep-tissue work can alleviate tightness in the ITB. Partner massage: Lie on your side with your knees bent. Have your partner put his forearm on your outer thigh and push. As the area loosens, apply more pressure. Solo massage: Sit on the ground and pull your foot toward your glutes. Rotate your knee inward and gently knead (squeeze and pull) the outside of the thigh. Work from your hip to your knee."

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