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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Achilles tendinopathy

Any sport that has you running or jumping, or if you include these in your prep for them, has the potential for achilles tendon problems. It is not uncommon for people to think that they have an issue with an achilles tendon and for it to be a different tissue in the area. The pain actually being in the  toe flexors or posterior tibialis both of which sit in front of the achilles but these can be easily ruled out during the initial examination . Once it is established that it is an achllies problem we can begin work on addressing it. We now use the term tendinopathy instead of tendonitis as recent research has shown that there are rarely any inflammatory changes in the tendon. Continue reading “Achilles tendinopathy”

Changing your running technique

I’ve mentioned in the blog before the idea of different foot strikes when you are running be they forefoot, midfoot or rear foot. A rear foot or heel strike tends to get a bad press, especially when the idea of running barefoot was at it’s peak yet there is nothing wrong with running with a heel strike vs mid or forefoot and most of us will tend towards a heal strike until we are running at a sufficiently high pace. You will also tend to see even faster runners or those who tend towards a mid/forefoot strike moving towards a heel strike as they tire, most noticeable during longer races such as marathons or the running portion of an IronMan. Continue reading “Changing your running technique”

Forefoot or rearfoot? Where should my foot land?

There is and has been for sometime a big discussion on which part of the foot you should strike the ground with first when we are running. The rearfoot strike has been said to be the worst way possible to run and you should strike first with the fore to midfoot in order to reduce injuries, increase running economy and perhaps even bring about world peace.

This article by Tom Goom at Running Physio looks at whether or not you should switch to a more forefoot running pattern or not.

 

Dynamic movement skills

I was on the Dynamic movement skills course in November and have been integrating it into the treatment of one or two clients over the last month with great success. We are getting very noticeable differences in as little as a couple of sessions so I’m really looking forward to rolling this out as a stand alone system in the January.

The course works on developing and refining neuromuscular efficiency and motor patterns. This helps improve gross motor skills, balance, rhythm, coordination, speed and agility. These ultimately help to increase movement competence and confidence during daily activities and sport. In re-educating the neuromuscular system we are able to react more quickly and dynamically and through working in all planes of motion develop more rounded movement skills. The system also aids in correcting single leg dominance and through the progressive nature of it develop dynamic balance and core engagment which in turns allows for the development of better turning ability in sport.WP_20141220_001