What IT Band Syndrome?
IT Band Syndrome is an overuse condition that is marked primarily by pain lateral knee pain. It is often found in runners and those participating in other intense sports such as soccer, rowing, and cycling. Less frequently seen, it can also occur higher in the leg, often with pregnant women and the elderly. Because it comes from repetitive activities, it can easily become a chronic condition if not treated.
How and why?
A muscle called the tensor fascia latae is responsible for abducting the hip or lifting our leg to the side as well as rotating it internally. The iliotibial band is a fibrous extension of this muscle that runs all the way down the outside of the thigh and ends just below the knee. When we extend our knee full, that band actually glides back over the end of the femur, the long bone of the thigh. If the IT band is tight due to poor stretching before and after activity, it can cause inflammation to occur as it passes over the femur. It’s this inflammation that causes pain. What contributes to it? There a variety of possibilities that can contribute to the condition. Running on uneven, sloped surfaces and running downhill can aggravate the condition. In addition, abnormalities in gait, such as pronation or supination, or structural abnormalities in the foot, ankle, knee and even hip may predispose a patient to this condition. Finally, functional problems like poor gluteus medius activation and other compensations may exacerbate the problem.
What to do?
RICE is a simple yet effective treatment for the symptoms. This includes resting and avoiding the offending activity, application of ice to decrease inflammation, compression, and finally elevation. Proper stretching of the muscles of the thigh and hip is imperative as well as.
Why see a Chiropractor?
Your chiropractor is trained in treating the immediate symptoms of IT Band Friction Syndrome. This may extend to the use of therapeutic ultrasound to quickly treat the inflammation. It is critical to also restore proper motion to the not only the knee but also the foot, hip, pelvis, and back. They may all be affected by the changes in gait that are caused by injury or structural abnormalities. This is what sets a chiropractor apart in treating the condition. In addition, functional analysis of the patient may prove invaluable in alleviating the true cause of the injury.