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To get us all started and to avoid telling you everything you can read on the website anyway I have decided to dedicate my debut blog post to ITB – yes, Comrades is around the corner and I dare to say this out loud…ITB!

 

These three capital letters would have given us goosebumps about 8 year ago as we sort of tried to get rid of the symptoms so athletes can run without pain.  If we were unsuccessful we would suggest the athlete rests from the aggravating activity for 2-4 weeks.  Sounds familiar?

 

And yet we all know, runners in particular, do NOT want to hear this – EVER.

 

Imagine our surprise and excitement when we met Benita Kropman, founder of this amazing assessment and release method – The Lyno Method.  All of the sudden ITB ran away with its tail between its legs.

 

What we thought was the inflammation of the iliotibial band rubbing over the bone causing the intense discomfort, now seemed to be a locked spiral line in, more often than not, the OTHER, non-symptomatic leg, or a stuck spiral line in a shoulder or arm from a previous injury.

 

We do not deny that the inflammation is present, of course not, ultrasound scans do not lie.  We just defer the blame to the ACTUAL culprit – dysfunctional movement patterns (biomechanics).  Which we can identify, change, improve and maintain – phew, what a relief.

 

We just confirm what some specialists, the out-of-the-box-thinking-kind of specialist, may have mentioned to you at some point during your search for relief:  “It seems like your Gluteii muscles are not firing.  Strengthen them and your problems will disappear…”

 

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

 

Some of the training habits that cause the symptoms are:

  • Spending long periods of time/regularly sitting in lotus posture in yoga. Especially beginners forcing the feet onto the top of the thighs
  • Consistently running on a horizontally banked surface (such as the shoulder of a road or an indoor track) on which the downhill leg is bent slightly inward, causing extreme stretching of the band against the femur
  • Inadequate warm-up or cool-down
  • Excessive up-hill and down-hill running
  • Positioning the feet “toed-in” to an excessive angle when cycling
  • Running up and down stairs
  • Hiking long distances
  • Rowing
  • Breaststroke
  • Treading water

 

The information below is NOT what we recommend for ITB in this blog.  It is simply to show you what you as the athlete get to read on the internet.  What everyone is trying out there to solve your ITB issues with little to no success for most runners, those of you that it did work for – it’s a miracle.

 

So here is the definition of ITB according to the sports medicine world:

 

“Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia on the lateral aspect of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, as it moves from behind the femur to the front of the femur during activity. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.”

 

This is true.  And accurate.  This is how your symptoms will present and what you will feel and theoretically how the inflammation is caused.  But what about if the hip stabilisers are not firing, or your one shoulder battles to follow through to the back during strides or your spine is unable to twist and transfer arm power to your legs.  What about the effect that these restrictions will have on your over pronating foot, or turned in toes…just putting it out there.

 

Interestingly these are the solutions suggested to you, the reader of free information overload:

 

Wikipedia – the iliotibial band can be rested, iced, compressed and elevated (RICE) to reduce pain and inflammation, followed by stretching.  Massage therapy can offer relief if symptoms arise.

 

Runners World suggested resting immediately. Noooooooo…runners don’t want to hear the word REST!  They also suggest side stretches, ice or heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation with topical cortisone.

And then after you are grumpier than the biggest Grizzly bear because you haven’t run for several weeks, you are still in agony even just with normal walking and you are a potential high risk for a nervous breakdown, only then do they suggest you see some sports medicine professional who may or may not suggest cortisone injections.

Note to self – cortisone injections weaken ligaments and tendons and you are setting yourself up for potential bigger problems in the not-so-distant future.  And then Runners World gives you your last flicker of hope – surgery.  Before you even THINK about saying yes to this suggestion, phone us! 011 616 0975 even if you don’t even live in Johannesburg, we will be glad to try and explain why you should try the Lyno Method first.

Stretching – In 2007 BRADLEY, PAUL S.; OLSEN, PETER D.; PORTAS, MATTHEW D. did an article that proved that static and PNF stretching had a negative effect on explosive sports such as high jumping and that ballistic (dynamic stretching) had no positive nor negative effect on the sport.  It was therefore suggested that static and PNF stretching should not be done 15 minutes before participating.

 

This is only one of many new research material on stretching that suggests that the majority of athlete’s should actually not stretch at all.  ESPECIALLY a rigid structure like the iliotibial band – so here is my one nugget of advice for ITB symptoms. DO NOT STRETCH or FOAM ROll the ITB, you are making the problem worse.

 

SO WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSE TO DO?

Consider finding the real cause.  The biomechanical dysfunction.  The spiral line or diagonal line that got stuck from when you where the next best bowler for South Africa when you were 14 years old or the to-be-javelin-thrower when you were in high school.  There are so many factors that have an effect on the whole body and needs to be addressed.  The Lyno Method is genius!  It not only shows you where your body is battling but you see the changes on paper.  There is no denying the paper scores.  Plus it includes the rehabilitation of those muscles that have not fired when you are running for kilometers!

 

Give us a call and let us help you kick ITB in the knees…

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