Management of IT Band Syndrome with Massage

itb syndromeIliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB Syndrome) is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. You’ll know it when you have it because the “IT band“, the ligament that runs down your outer thighs from pelvis to shin, is super tight, swollen, and often inflamed. The result? Pain, sometimes severe, when flexing the knee.

Some causes of IT band syndrome

ITB syndrome usually results from running on uneven surfaces, wearing work-out shoes, running too long a distance without proper training, or running too many track workouts in the same direction. ITB syndrome affects about 1 in 10 runners and is more common among women and anyone whose hips tilt in a way that causes their knees to turn in. Continue reading “Management of IT Band Syndrome with Massage”

Top 5 Running Injuries

Runners of all skill levels usually experience some kind of injury, ache or pain. Most of the time, running injuries happen when you overexert, or when you’re not paying attention to proper body mechanics, or sometimes just dumb luck.

Here’s a quick list of the top five of the most common injuries (WebMD, et al) and some ideas about how to treat them.

1. Runner’s knee. Basically, this is when your form, running shoes, or terrain causes your kneecap to misalign. You’ll especially feel this when sitting for a long time, squatting, or climbing a hill or stairs. Over time, the cartilage around your kneecap can wear down causing bone-to-bone friction which results in pain, especially around the edges of your kneecap.

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Do Foam Rollers Work?

roamrollerassortmentFoam rollers come in all shapes and sizes and if you ask many fitness professionals, they are an effective way to restore lost range of motion and ease pain. Generally, they’re cylindrical in shape and varying lengths. Foam rollers also vary in firmness (density).

Foam rolling, in general, involves applying moderate pressure to a muscle or muscle group rolling the roller over the target area with your hands, or using your body weight against the foam roller, to compress and lengthen muscle tissue.  In some cases, rollers can help release trigger points to help reestablish pain free movement. During the slow roll movement, the muscle releases and after about 15-30 seconds, pain will decrease.

But like any tool, there’s a right way and wrong way to use them. And, like you don’t hammer a nail with a screwdriver, there are times when other tools are better. If used incorrectly, the foam roller can actually do more harm than good, and foam rolling is most definitely no substitute for manual therapy from a trained therapist.

Sometimes rolling works, sometimes, not so much.

How do foam rollers work? Continue reading “Do Foam Rollers Work?”

Five Springtime Stretches for Runners

stretchingKnow this. Whether you are a casual runner or a full-on triathlete, you need to stretch. Even though the research seems confusing, the results don’t lie.

Running makes your legs strong, toned, and, often, tight. Every step you take forces your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips to flex and extend over and over to propel you down the road. As they tire, the muscles and tendons can develop imbalances, scar tissue, and tension, slowing you down and increasing the likelihood for common overuse injuries like IT Band syndrome, and Achilles tendonitis.  You’ve probably read many difference opinions about stretching before and after your run.  There are two things that are pretty plain:

1. Ask a runner who stretches and they’ll tell you it helps them be more flexible, have more endurance, and feel better after the run.

Continue reading “Five Springtime Stretches for Runners”