Having run the Reading Half Marathon myself, twice, I know how much effort goes into training and preparing yourself for such an event. I also understand the frustration that people can go through if they have invested a lot of time and effort into such a commitment and find they can’t take part through injury. Therefore I thought with many Reading residents currently training for this years Half Marathon I’d write a quick post about a common injury for runners (professional and amateur).
Illiotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band) often referred to as ‘runners knee’, this is an overuse or repetitive strain injury of the illiotibial band.
The iliotibial band is a thick band of tissue that runs from your hips to below your knees. IT band syndrome can cause knee, thigh or hip pain and a snapping sensation where the band passes over the knee. It also can cause low back pain, which is usually felt on one side, groin strains and pain on the outside of your hip.
Common Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome can be:
- Pain during flexion or extension of the knee (walking/running)
- Pain relief with rest
- Pain on the outside of the knee with gradual onset
- Trigger points along the outside of the leg and into the glute
- Pain worse on running or walking downhill
As a Chiropractor I have seen this many times over the years and also have seen one lady who was suffering with this for 20 years and had had two surgeries on it with no success. With Chiropractic care within 3-4 weeks her pain had gone!
Your pelvis plays a very important role in your running biomechanics. A correctly aligned/functioning pelvis can improve your running performance and efficiency. A pelvic tilt or incorrectly functioning pelvis can increase your risk for overuse/repetitive strain injuries, which are very common among runners. Overuse/repetitive strain injuries happen when you regularly cause small amounts of damage as you run that build up over time from improper biomechanics. An accumulative effect of this eventually becomes a problem and can cause such pains as a stress fracture, knee problem or iliotibial band syndrome. This, I find, is very common with todays sedentary lifestyles. This can contribute to IT band syndrome.
They also may be caused by structural issues, like a leg length discrepancy (one leg appearing longer than the other). Doing a one-legged squat on each side, lowering yourself until you have a 90-degree bend in the knee, is one way to check for a biomechanical issue in your hips. If balance on one side is more difficult or one side seems less coordinated, painful or weaker, take a closer look at your pelvic biomechanics. Depending on the cause of your issue, you may need to restore the normal pelvic alignment, strengthen your abdominals, improve flexibility and strength in your hamstrings and hip flexors. Or, you may need custom-made shoe inserts called orthotics to correct an issue like an anatomical leg-length discrepancy (one leg actually longer that the other).
Chiropractic Treatment for IT Band Syndrome
Chiropractic care for such problem would involve a functional assessment to evaluate the function of the lumbar spine, pelvis plus the knee and ankle. Any misalignments/dysfunctions/subluxations (pelvic tilt or leg length discrepancy) in these areas can change the biomechanics can cause compensatory joint instability, muscle weakness and pain.
Though stretching and rehab techniques may provide temporary relief, the underlying structural issues must be addressed for any long term improvement. Chiropractic utilizes specific adjustments to correct underlying biomechanical issues as well as remove pressure on nerves. The restoration of function to the joints of the spine and pelvis is important and improving the nerve flow to the target tissues is an absolute necessity in the healing process of any tissue.
If you are suffering with pain during or after your running contact us on 0118 966 4431 to book a consultation to find out how we can help you!
Good Luck to all running the Reading Half Marathon!