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Fall is a great time for running or biking in Texas! As the temperatures begin to cool down, you may be tempted to up your regimen, and the resulting stress on your limbs could cause new aches and pains. Imagine having to drop out of your favorite 5K race because your knee hurts so badly you can’t take another step. Pain like this could be from a condition called iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), in which the ligament that runs from your hip to your tibia (shin bone) rubs against your knee and becomes inflamed.
If you love running, it’s hard to give it up for a while, but resting immediately is the best way to heal quickly. You can ice the area to reduce swelling and pain, and then massage it with a foam roller to increase healing blood flow in the area. Try these iliotibial band syndrome exercises to strengthen the IT band and keep it flexible.
First, lie on your back and lift your hips up in a bridge position. Keeping your hips up and your back straight, lift one foot off the floor and return it, then the other foot. Repeat a few times. Another exercise is to lie on your side with a stretch band around your thighs near the knee. Keep your spine straight and your feet together while lifting the top knee away from the bottom one into a comfortable stretch, focusing on the hip motion. You can also lie on your side with the bottom leg bent behind you at a right angle, and slowly lift your other straight leg up into a mild stretch. Alternate sides for both of these stretches.
Dr. Marco Vargas and Dr. Joyce Lee at Foot & Ankle Associates specialize in sports injuries. If your knee pain doesn’t go away, don’t wait too long to seek them out, as ITBS can become a chronic problem that leaves you unable to run as much as you’d like. For great foot care in the Sugar Land, Missouri City, or Houston area, call the office at 888-784-5335 or book an appointment online.
Photo Credit: mimica VIA RGBstock photos