What Kind of Pain am I Having Now? ITB Syndrome and Relief

One of the lesser known but yet common leg problems encountered by runners is ”Iliotibial Band Syndrome” or ITB syndrome. The iliotibial band is the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin.When that gets inflamed it hurts. Consider the following story:
Laura K. had been running regularly for several years before the pain hit. Just two days after finishing her first marathon, Laura went off with her  running group for an easy 5-mile run. However after 2 miles, the outside of her leg began to hurt — big-time. “My leg just blew out. I stopped running and could hardly walk,” she recalls. “I barely made it home in pain.”
Laura, a writer from  Ohio, was suffering from iliotibial band syndrome, one of the most common overuse injuries to occur to runners. Many runners mistakenly think they have a knee injury because the most notable symptom is  typically swelling and pain on the outside of the knee.
But it’s not the knee, it’s the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. “When the band comes near the knee, it  narrows, and rubbing can occur between the bone and the band. This causes the inflammation,” according to Freddie H. Fu, M.D., a Pittsburgh, Pa. orthopedic surgeon and also the chairman  of the Pittsburgh Marathon.
The cause of ITB syndrome is any activity that repeatedly makes the leg  turn inward. This can include running too many track workouts in the same direction, wearing worn-out shoes, running too many miles, running downhill or on banked surfaces. Seasoned runners can be affected just as much as beginners.
One sports medicine podiatrist claims that 40% of his ITB patients have been running for more than 5 years. Fifty percent of them  run between 20 and 40 miles per week.
 Perhaps because of the way women’s hips tilt, ITB is more common with them according to Dr. Fu.
There has been a recent increase among all runners  possibly because there are more people preparing for marathons. Many of them are willing to run with pain and not let up.
Knowing that you have ITB is relatively easy. If you feel pain on the outside of your knee when you bend it at a 45 degree angle you probably have incurred the syndrome. Then it would be necessary to get an MRI to confirm that there is a partial thickening of the band.
Knowing when to stop running or doing any exercise is important but equally vital is strengthening the ligaments and muscles of the body prior to engaging in such activities. One of the most effective methods of  muscle strengthening is to use known physical therapy products such as the TUTOR system. Despite the fact that this product was created to treat the physical disabilities of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain/spinal cord injury or other upper or lower limb surgeries, the TUTORs can have a dual purpose. Consisting of the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR the object of their innovation is to provide intensive exercises to affected limbs. The TUTORs are comfortable ergonomically designed gloves and braces together with powerful dedicated rehabilitation software. The system consists of motivating and challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. The dedicated software allows the physical/occupational therapist to objectively and quantitatively evaluate the patient’s progress.
The TUTORs are fully certified by the FDA and CE and are currently in use in leading U.S. and European rehabilitation hospitals and clinics. Designed to be used by adults and children from the age of 5 and up the TUTOR system can also be used at home through telerehabilitation.
See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.
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