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Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Chiropractic Treatment Options

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Iliotibial Band Syndrome, also known as ITBS, causes severe knee pain. Like any other type of pain, ITBS can disrupt your life if not treated. Many people don’t immediately think of chiropractic care as an option when they experience knee pain. However, a visit with your chiropractor may in fact be the option you’ve been searching for.

A Family Chiropractic Clinic treats patients suffering from a variety of illnesses and injuries. We’ve seen it all and our expert staff is willing and able to help you get back on your feet. Chiropractic care is more than just spinal care. Our approach to medicine focuses on your overall wellbeing. We’d like to share what we know about Iliotibial Band Syndrome with you so you can see how chiropractic care can help.

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Simply put, iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury resulting in significant knee pain. This type of injury is typically well known to runners; however, it can impact anyone. The iliotibial band runs along the outside of your leg and connects your hip to your tibia, just below your kneecap. It stabilizes your leg when your thigh muscles show signs of fatigue. These muscles, the quadriceps, are largely responsible for your leg movement. When they become weak due to fatigue during activities such as long distance running, the iliotibial band prevents damage to your hips and knees.

When this injury is diagnosed early, followed with immediate treatment, you reduce your chances of the injury becoming a chronic condition. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t experience the pain associated with this condition until they’ve sustained serious injury. The best thing you can do is be aware of your body. If you begin to feel pain at the attachment points of the IT band then it’s important to recognize this as the start of the injury. Usually, this pain presents itself after the individual has run several miles. You’ll notice it at the side of your hip, the outside of your knee, or in both locations. Symptoms may come and go, sometimes reappearing even months later.

Preventing Iliotibial Band Syndrome

We’ve already talked about the fact that this particular injury tends to affect long distance runners the most, but it also affects other people, and not all long distance runners suffer this injury. Taking a deeper look at the problem, most specialists believe that these injuries actually begin with the feet. When running, if your feet roll outward or inward excessively, then you’re more prone to developing ITBS. This means that high quality running shoes are a great way to protect yourself from this type of injury. You may even consider undergoing gait analysis to determine how much support you need and which type of shoe will be best for you.

Another great way you can protect yourself from iliotibial band syndrome as well as other injuries is by developing strong core muscles. As your thigh muscles tire, your pelvic muscles will pick up the slack. Ensuring these muscles are toned and able to handle the job reduces your chance of injury.

Treating Iliotibial Band Syndrome

No matter what you do to prevent this painful condition, you may still develop ITBS. Thankfully, if the injury is identified early and allowed to heal, the fallout will be minimal. You can prevent further damage by running on softer surfaces such as dirt or grass. During recovery it’s best to avoid severe hill grades. Most importantly, don’t run through the pain. You can run up to the point of pain, which is often several miles for many runners, but once the pain begins you need to rest. If you’re undergoing treatment for ITBS then you’ll be able to slowly improve your running duration before the pain sets in until you can resume your normal training.

After your run you can reduce inflammation by icing the painful area, but this won’t fix the condition. Thankfully, ITBS responds quite well to chiropractic care. This is because the injury involves the muscles surrounding the pelvis and the pelvis itself. If your pelvis isn’t functioning to the best of its ability then your muscles aren’t as efficient. This in turn will limit both mobility and flexibility which ultimately results in pain and injuries. This makes chiropractic care a great treatment option for this condition.

Chiropractic adjustments will help reduce the pain associated with ITBS as well as speed the recovery process. Your chiropractor may also recommend adding additional therapies to your treatment plan. These often include ultrasound, electric therapy, and cold laser therapy. In some cases you may need to break up scar tissue that has formed around the injury to allow the area to heal more effectively. Your chiropractor may also recommend physical therapy in order to help your muscles reach normal function and minimize the chances of reoccurring ITBS.

Seeking Chiropractic Treatment for ITBS

If you experience the symptoms of ITBS you will want to set up an appointment for evaluation with your chiropractor. The most noticeable symptom is pain on the outside of the knee. Your pain may also worsen after running, especially if you’re running at an incline. It’s possible you may not notice the pain until after you aggravate the injury either halfway through your run or after climbing a steep hill. Often the pain can be quite intense and sometimes debilitating. In severe cases you may feel a snapping or cracking in your hip.

Talk to your chiropractor about your pain and the events leading up to when it began. It’s also a good idea to mention your training schedule or goals. This way they can create a treatment plan that hopefully won’t set you back. The most important thing is to have the injury treated as soon as possible. Early treatment reduces the chances you’ll develop chronic ITBS. Follow your treatment plan closely to ensure your body has a chance to properly heal. Not following your chiropractor’s suggestions could cause the injury to become more severe and ultimately take longer to heal.

Call A Family Chiropractic Clinic today at (940) 566-0000 for more information on using chiropractic care to treat Iliotibial Band Syndrome.