Dr. Downes – Comprehensive Care for the Ileotibial Band
October 27, 2010 By: Barbara Downes
Ileotibial band (ITB) problems are extremely common among runners and are thankfully rather easy to work with if therapies are comprehensive.
The ITB is the only structure that passes over and directly effects two major joints: the hip and the knee. It is named for the bones that it is anchored to. At the top, it becomes part of the ileum, or the bony pelvis, and at its inferior site, it attaches and becomes part of the tibia, the larger bone just below the knee.
It starts out as a muscle, the Tensor Fascia Lata muscle which is situated on the lateral aspect of the hip. As it descends, it becomes a long band of tough fibers called the ITB. The muscular part’s primary work is to lift the leg to the side. It is a secondary mover and helper to the Gluteus Maximus muscle which actually weaves into the TFL just behind the hip.
This is why Runners get in trouble with it. The Gluts and the hamstrings are the great extensors of the leg in running. When exhausted they quickly recruit help from the TFL.
This is all well and good, unless…
The pelvis is misaligned, the hips muscles are not equal and balanced, the lumbar spine is not perfectly positioned along with its discs and joints mobile and flexible, the knees twisted, torqued or otherwise subluxated, and the feet have all three arches bilaterally symmetrical and flexible and resilient.
This is why care has to be comprehensive in the case of a running injury. If the ITB is simply stretched and warmed, all the other factors left undetected and unaddressed will surely re-activate the problem in time. Usually less time than more, but some hold strong and recruit other compensatory mechanisms to keep them going.
This is ill-advised because eventually the joints being compromised suffer an exponential rate of inflammation and deterioration. These become the hip and knee replacements of the future. This sequence of events, thankfully does not have to happen.
If we listen to the body and treat all the structures around the ITB and TFL we bring a much healthier bony structure to the track or treadmill. One which becomes stronger and more capable with use rather than deteriorated from misuse.
Comprehensive care to me means the joints get proper adjustments, the muscle work is done to assure symmetry, bone and muscle nutrients are from organic whole food, and if inflammation is present, it is treated naturally and not with drugs that irritate the gut and joint linings!
Exercise is the best medicine for every aspect of your health. And Natural Sports Chiropractic care is the best way I know to keep you at it for a greater lifespan and healthspan!