Illiotibial band syndrome; What’s the cause and what to do about it

Illiotibial band syndrome often seems like a plague for runners. Everyone knows someone who has it or has had it themselves but it is much misunderstood as to what and where it is.

The illiotibial band is a thick, fibrous length of connective tissue that runs from the illiac crest to the lateral condyle of the tibia. It crosses both the hip and the knee joints and plays a role in the stabilisation of both of them.  As well as aiding the stabilisation of the knee and hip it is involved in the abduction and extension of the the hip through the attachment of Glute Max and Tensor Fascia Lata.

 

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The 5 most common running injuries

What are the 5 most common running injuries? Running is such an easy form of exercise to get into and a fundamental requirement for a huge range of sports that it is no surprise that a huge number of people run as part of their fitness regime. Running injuries are very common with a figure of around 70% of those who run getting an injury of some sort every year. This isn’t because running is particularly risky rather it’s more that it’s very easy just to stick your trainers on and get cracking.

As a result of the very easy access to using running as a means of getting fit etc people tend to do it without much thought as to what they are doing. When I say this I am talking about how much they are doing in terms of either volume, intensity of effort and also in terms of the skill of running.

Whilst I would agree that we are all born to run not all of us are going to run well straight away and we tend to forget it is actually quite a demanding activity. Training load, the volume and intensity bit above, is generally the biggest factor in the causes of injury whilst the actual skill sits about 3rd but its importance increases as you get better at it and look to make more demands of yourself, the better your form the more likely you are to distribute the stress over the correct areas.

So what are the most common running injuries?

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Why do I stiffen up a few days after treatment?

During an appointment at Performance Sports Therapy we are able to make meaningful changes in how you move and feel. Unfortunately these changes do not always ‘stick’. It isn’t that unusual to get told by people that they felt great for 2 to 3 days and then they stiffened up again. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about because of the reasons why you are feeling tight are not what you might think.

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Knee pain and warming up for a run

Googling exercises for knee pain isn’t really the best way to deal with any problems you may be experiencing as they aren’t specific to YOUR problem. Having said this when it comes to looking to prevent getting knee pain the specificity issue becomes less of a problem as we aren’t looking to rehab an injury rather we are looking to ensure the areas that impact on the knee are in good condition. Runners knee or anterior knee pain is one of the more common issues that affect runners but adjusting how you warm up can help reduce the chances of it being a problem for you.

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Why are you using rehab exercises in your training?

I often find when clients develop nonspecific aches and pains they start, almost randomly, introducing low load rehab work into their program in an attempt to solve the problem.  This is usually done after a quick google search which makes various reasonable suggestions as to what might be wrong and the exercises to do to help the problem. This though really doesn’t tackle the problem well, if at all, given it misses out looking at why the aches and pains developed to begin with.

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Anterior Knee Pain

Patellofemoral pain can be thought of where pain is present in and surrounding the tissues between the patella and the femur. The cause of the pain can be something of a mystery as it rarely develops quickly and isn’t the result of a traumatic incident the way a ligament tear is. The symptoms are often made worse by, though not exclusively, activities like squatting, lunging, kneeling, going down stairs or running downhill. In-other words relatively high load activities that put a lot of stress on or through the area. in addition to this sitting for long periods where the knee is flexed can also cause the symptoms to get worse.

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Hamstring injuries: prevention and treatment – an update

This paper on the BJSM, Hamstring injuries: prevention and treatment—an update, is a must read for anyone who deals with athletes or are susceptible to hamstring tears

“Despite increased knowledge of hamstring muscle injuries, the incidence has not diminished. We now know that not all hamstring injuries are the same and that certain types of injuries require prolonged rehabilitation and return to play. The slow stretch type of injury and injuries involving the central tendon both require longer times to return to play. A number of factors have been proposed as being indicators of time taken to return to play, but the evidence for these is conflicting. Recurrence rates remain high and it is now thought that strength deficits may be an important factor. Strengthening exercise should be performed with the hamstrings in a lengthened position. There is conflicting evidence regarding the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injection in the treatment of hamstring injuries so at this stage we cannot advise their use. Various tests have been proposed as predictors of hamstring injury and the use of the Nordboard is an interesting addition to the testing process. Prevention of these injuries is the ultimate aim and there is increasing evidence that Nordic hamstring exercises are effective in reducing the incidence.  “