Athletes And Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If you are an athlete then it is not uncommon for you to feel pain. You will always get strained muscles, sprained ankles among other things. That is why, it is important for athletes to do stretches to prevent injuries. However, with the nature of their career, it is impossible for them not to develop any injury at all. One of these injuries is the illiotilial band syndrome. This is common to runners and cyclists. Hikers can also develop this syndrome as well as those who are weight lifting when they perform squats.

How do they get this injury? This happens when the athletes suddenly increase their level of activity like runners who would increase their mileage. So what is this iliotibial band, you ask? It is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg and runs from the hip to the outer side of the shin bone or tibia which is just below the knee joint. It coordinates with some thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.

The only symptom for iliotibial band is pain. As mentioned, the iliotibial band provides stability to the knee and also to assist in the flexion of the knee joint. Now, when the band is irritated, the movement of the knee joint becomes painful. The pain usually does not occur immediately during activity but will intensify as time passes by. This usually happens when the foot strikes the ground and can persist after activity. Pain can also happen below the knee where, as we know, the iliotibial band is attached to the tibia.

How do you treat iliotibial band syndrome? Proper footwear is very important in treating iliotibial band syndrome as it can absorb some of the shock when the feet hit the ground. Proper fit of footwear will also help in reducing the pain. Applying ice on the place where it hurts will reduce pain. Stretching routines are also important to make sure that the tissue will not be shocked before doing any activity. Excessive training should be limited as well as resting for periods of time. Incorporating low-impact cross-training activities will also help.

A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory meds to reduce the swelling around the area of irritation. But if these treatments do not work, a physical therapist is needed to be able to develop a more focused stretching and strengthening routine. A cortisone injection in the area of inflammation can also be done if the previous attempts did not work. Surgery should be the last option and this only happens in very rare circumstances.

Iliotibial band syndrome is not only limited to athletes. It only happens that they are the most prone to this syndrome. Knowing the function of the iliotibial band makes it easy for us to understand why it affects mostly athletes. And if you think you have this syndrome, better seek professional help as early as you can so as to receive better treatment and healing would be fast.

Ralph J. Greene enjoys writing for Uniformhaven.com which sells landau scrubs and urbane 9502 as well as a host of additional products.

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