What does it involve? Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) stands as one of the prevailing origins of hip and/or knee discomfort among athletes. This pain arises due to the enlargement or irritation of a cluster of muscles (comprising the tensor fascia lata or TFL, gluteus medius, and minimus muscles), the connective tissues binding muscles to the knee or hip, and/or the protective sac encasing these connections at the hip and/or knee.
How common is it? Experts estimate that the prevalence of ITBS may be as high as 12% among participants in sports that involve running. This is also common during basic training—with ITBS reported by between 5.3% to 22.2% of United States Marine Corps recruits.
How does it manifest clinically? Ordinarily, ITBS exhibits a pattern involving pain during activities such as walking, running, cycling, and more, with discomfort concentrated on the outer part of the knee, slightly above the joint. This pain might extend upward or downward, encompassing the hip and/or ankle. Activities like descending stairs and running downhill often provoke irritation. While rest can provide short-term relief, it's not a lasting solution in the long run.
What are some physical exam findings? ITBS patients may exhibit an abnormal gait or walking pattern in which knee flexion (bending) is avoided. They may also have tenderness to touch above the knee joint on the outside and/or along the iliac crest (where the TFL inserts). Squatting can reproduce pain, and lying on the side with the leg extended backward and dropped toward the floor from a bench often reproduces pain (called “Ober’s Test”).
Treatment Options: Because these are “overuse” injuries, changing the frequency, intensity, and/or duration of the sport or injury-causing activity is often necessary. Consider changing up your routine by cross training. If your athletic shoes are worn down, replace them and stay within the rated mileage of the shoe.
For those with ankle pronation (where the ankle shifts inwards), a foot orthotic with a measured rearfoot post can “make or break” a successful, long-term outcome. Similarly, if one leg is measurably shorter compared to the other, a heel or heel-sole combination lift is also very helpful.
If the muscles that move the hip are weak or if there is altered/abnormal muscle activity, then proper exercises to improve the neuro-motor pattern and/or strengthen the weak muscle group are a must! The inclusion of a gait/walking and running assessment can also reap great benefits for long-term success. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you with this assessment.
Chiropractors are trained to evaluate and treat ITBS and other hip/knee conditions, whether they are sports-related or not.
So, if you are interested in no longer chasing your tail on the pain gerbil wheel and type in pain management near me or chiropractor near me, you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up.
You may wonder, “Is There a Better Way to Address Actually Fixing the Cause of the Pain?”
Once you have experienced the frustration of simply covering over the pain temporarily, you may be more enlightened to the idea of fixing the problem and then keep it that way. Some around you say one description of such an approach is called wellness care.
Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at Coast Chiropractic Centers at (239) 278-3344 or stop by on your day off if we’re near you for a walk in visit and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment. So if you find yourself experiencing lower back pain while running or doing physical activities.
If you feel like a gerbil on a perpetual pain wheel and you know it is negatively affecting your quality of life and keeping you from enjoying walks at Fort Myers Beach, playing golf, tennis, pickle ball or others, come see us at Coast Chiropractic Centers located on 7270 College Parkway.
If you would like to avoid getting back pain in the first place or to take a proactive approach to your health and wellness nearby, our membership program called Club C may be just the thing for you with great cost savings, convenience, and even more importantly, a plan to get your health back and keep it.
Don't let back pain stop you from enjoying the beautiful SWFL! Dr. Tim Harcourt is here to give you the relief you need.
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