1593FIX YOU: Avoid ITBS


six-physioKelly Robinson from Six Physio will be here each month to answer one of your injury problems. Just head to Facebook.com/mensrunningmagazineuk and tell us as much about your injury as possible. Kelly will do the rest.   Help!
I had to pull out my first marathon last year because of ITBS. This year I’m using a foam roller, which is keeping me training, but do you have any tips to prevent it coming back?
Tommy Edwards   The illiotibial band is a continuation of one the largest hip muscles and spans as a thick band of tissue on the outside of the thigh. Illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when this band repeatedly rubs against a bony protrusion just at the side of the knee, causing inflammation. It may feel like a ‘flicking’ sensation on the outside of the knee, and can become painful.  


1. Good Training Methods -       Don’t increase distance too rapidly, especially after any period of time away from running. -       Don’t run excessively on downhill or banked surfaces. -       Ensure your running trainers are suited to your biomechanics and assessed by a running specialist shop, and replace them every 500 miles or so.

2. Improve your biomechanics Foot posture can have a huge impact on ITB tightness and also the functioning of your pelvic muscles. Overly high or low foot arches (excessive pronation or supination) can put excessive forces through the ITB and contribute to ITBS. Have your biomechanics assessed by a running specialist physio if you are experiencing ITBS symptoms. A poor range of motion in the hip can also put excessive strain through the ITB and hip muscles. Try these stretches to release the ITB and hips: Gluteal Stretch Lie on your back, bend up one leg and then place the opposite ankle on this thigh. Lift this leg towards you and pull gently while pressing the knee outwards to increase the stretch. Keep your tailbone on the floor. Hold for 30 secs  itbs     ITB Release- legs together Lay on the roller as shown, with both legs out straight. Roll along the outer thigh to release any tightness from the hip to the knee. When you find a tight/painful spot, maintain the pressure. Do not hold your breath. Hold for 1 minute per leg     PIGEON STRETCH

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3. Improve pelvic stability and core strength

If your glutes are weak, your hip is likely to rotate excessively, which leads to a similar motion in the knee (often in standing this looks like the knee caps are looking at each other rather than pointing straight ahead!). If this happens, the ITB will tighten in an attempt to compensate for this excessive hip rotation, which can lead to ITBS. Try these glute strengthening exercises to get your hips and knees aligned correctly: Clam Draw the sitting bones together as you lift the top knee as far as you can control without rolling your pelvis back or moving your spine. Keep your feet together throughout the movement. Hold and then control your leg back down. Hold for 5 secs each one   itbs   Glute Med at Wall with Squat Stand on your right leg, side-on to a wall on the right leg with the left knee resting on the wall. Gently contract the buttock muscle on the right leg and press into the wall with the left knee without moving the pelvis or spine. Hold, then perform a small knee bend ensuring your knee stays in line with your 2nd/3rd toes. Keep weight towards heel of standing leg. 20 reps per leg     Quadriceps Release Lie on roller as shown, with elbows slightly forward of your shoulders and roller along outer, middle and inner thigh level to release tightness from the front of the pelvis to the knee. Maintain a neutral spine. Move the body forwards over the elbows, keeping this spinal alignment with shoulders remaining stabilised. Roll forwards and back, gently and slowly. When you find a tight/painful spot, maintain the pressure. Hold for 2 mins  six-physio

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