Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common injuries that runners endure. The IT Band is designed to assist the hip muscles in the outward movement of the thigh and to stabilize the side of the knee. When this happens, the ligament that extends from the outside of the pelvic bone to the outside of the shinbone (IT band) becomes so tight that it rubs against the outside of the thigh bone. The pain experienced with IT Band Syndrome can range from minimal to extreme; even sidelining a runner from training. Pain is usually felt on the outside part of the knee or lower thigh.
Muscle Imbalances and IT Band Syndrome
IT Band Syndrome is an overuse injury. It is essentially overusing a certain muscle or tendon; causing it to tighten therefore causing a chain reaction to your hip or lower thigh. An athlete’s body is an interconnective chain and when you are experiencing an issue in one area it can migrate to another area of your body causing a deeper issue. For example, when experiencing IT Band Syndrome it can be due to lack of strength in your hip abductor muscles. However, the bigger problem and pain show up on the lower thigh or knee. Also the IT Band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, it is essential that you take the proper preventive methods to maintain healthy.
Preventing IT Band Syndrome
While it is not always easy, runners should do their best to run on level surfaces; if the foot that is on the outside part of the road is lower than the other, it can cause the pelvis to tilt to one side and stress the IT band. Strengthening the hip abductor muscles will prevent your body from putting so much pressure on the IT Band that stabilizes the knee while running. Ideally to prevent IT Band Syndrome you need to listen to your body and how it feels after exercising. IT Band Syndrome is typically seen from “overuse” of the muscle. As an athlete you need to continue to stretch and strengthen every muscle of the interconnective chain to remain healthy and active.
Treating IT Band Syndrome
To Treat ITB Syndrome you should seek a proper diagnosis and reduce your training regimen. It is essential to ice twice a day and to perform exercises to increase flexibility. The Cho-Pat I.T.B. Strap will apply compression at the area of discomfort to help relieve Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The strap uses compression to help prevent the snapping or friction of the Iliotibial band over the bony prominence just above and outside of the knee joint or further up the leg at the hip joint allowing the healing process to begin. The RangeRoller will work out the affected muscles and increase blood flow to the injured area. The RangeRoller is a great tool because it allows you to apply the right amount of pressure that you need to the area.
It is essential as an athlete to immediately seek the proper diagnosis for the injury you are experiencing. Too often athletes continue training through an injury and end up causing more damage and delaying the time until they are healthy again. Immediately seek answers to find the right solution for your injury so you can get back to performing at 100% again.