Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
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What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
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Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet<
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Lackluster Leg - Iliotibial Band Syndrome


Iliotibial band syndrome has many causes: worn-out shoes, excessive impact from overtraining, speed training, downhill running, running on a slanted surface, hyperpronation, tight ITB, limb length discrepancy, or a combination of a broad pelvis and "knock-knees."

Diagnosing and treating this problem early and identifying the cause is essential in preventing it from becoming chronic. Ice, rest, and stretching are an important part of treatment.

To stretch the ITB, place one leg forward with your toes pointed out at a slight angle. With your weight on the extended foot, drop your pelvis on the opposite side. If you put your hands on your hips, it will help you "feel" when the stretch is being done correctly.

Ice massage, ultrasound, or deep-tissue, cross-fiber massage and assisted stretching can help in chronic cases to break up the scar tissue and resolve the tightness of the band. See a physical therapist for treatment and to learn proper technique for stretching and/or massage. See a sports medicine specialist to identify biomechanical problems like limb length discrepancy, which can be partially corrected.

Orthotics can help with this syndrome, but a correct diagnosis and fit is important. Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed. In difficult cases an injection of cortisone in the soft tissue next to the ITB, not in it, can help. No more than one or two injections should be used.

Shorten your stride and avoid downhill running, or any running at all if you feel the area being irritated. Switch to bicycling or swimming to maintain aerobic fitness while you recover.

Is your marathon career over? Not necessarily, but you are going to have to get this problem under control before you can do serious distance work again.

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About the authors: Carol L. Otis, M.D., is Chief Medical Advisor to the Sanex WTA and a UCLA student health physician. Roger Goldingay is a former professional soccer player. They are married and the co-authors of The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

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The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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