Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
ITB issues are common with runners and are a painful and frustrating injury. There are a few things you can try to minimise your risk and improve your symptoms, if you are already suffering.
How you run can be an important factor with overuse injuries and you can try a slight modification to your gait if you suffer from ITB Syndrome.
Imagine you are running down a line in the middle of a road. If when landing your foot/feet cross over this middle line, you are said to possess a cross-over gait, in other words a very narrow running gait.
Crossing your foot on landing over that midline may contribute to ITB pain due to extra strain being placed on the band.
Take away: You can test out how you land using a flat surface with a line on it, so head to your local school or draw a chalk line on the footpath. Then run with the line in front of you and look down to see how your feet are landing. Are they crossing over the line with each landing or staying on either side of the line?
If you are crossing over the line, you can use the line to practice widening your running gait slightly. Focus on a small change to your gait, nothing crazy here team!
Tight Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL)
The TFL is a powerful little muscle up the top of your hip and is most active in the acceleration phase of running. It provides stability and for such a small muscle has a big job to do. Because it works super hard it is a good idea to include it in your regular
rolling and stretching routine.
Take away: Get in there and loosen that TFL up! You can do this using a tennis ball and by doing some TFL specific stretches.
Weak Gluteus Medius
One of the 3 glute muscles, the gluteus medius needs to be strong to prevent back, knee and ITB pain. Your glutes help stabialise your hips and if your pelvis is dropping due to weak glutes while running, you may end up with ITB or knee pain. Your glutes are a powerful group of muscles and when they are strong you will run even stronger.
Take away: Include specific gluteus medius strength training to your workouts. These are abduction exercises like fire hydrants and side leg raises. We cover off exercises for the glute medius in our Run Club Strength and Stability sessions, so make sure you are keeping up with these workouts!