Treating ITB Syndrome
Over the years I have been a runner and have treated many runners for their various injuries that can arise because of the stress running will induce on the body. Let us be clear that these injuries can occur to even the most prepared running athlete because that is what running does. It is the shear repetitive nature of running that will cause overuse which can result in compensation of a specific muscle group due to other muscles not functioning properly.
This then leads to your most common running injuries or at least the ones I most frequently come across at Integrative Physical Therapy of NYC. I will take the time to list one common injury I treat associated with running and also list the signs and symptoms. In addition, I’ll be providing some simple steps to recover and prevent this running injury.
This is the band of fascia that starts in the glute region and will run the length of your lateral thigh where it inserts just below the knee. This is the most common complaint with high-level runners and is commonly known as runners knee. Runners will often complain about lateral (outside) knee pain with running and walking, sometimes causing a limp. They will also complain of lateral buttock pain when walking or running.
A physical therapist can diagnosis this injury fairly easy if they know what to look for. They should test your hip abduction strength and the flexibility of your ITB. There can be many other factors contributing to this injury but for our purposes, we will keep it simple. Once those problems are identified you than should be instructed on how to isolate the weak muscle and strengthen it. In addition, getting some manual hands on stretching and trigger point work to that tight ITB area can be effective. Doing this in combination with physical therapy treatments of heat and electrical stim. should speed up your recovery process. The most important part is the home exercise program the physical therapist designs for your recovery. If you don’t perform your exercises at home and continue to run you will not get better. Below are pictures of some common stretches and strengthening exercises to help with recovery of ITB.
by Frank Ruggiero DPT