I see a lot of triathlon injuries as a New York City Chiropractor and I work with many triathletes to treat injuries or to help them prevent them in the first place. One of the top injuries that affects both runners and cyclists is Iliotibial Band Syndrome, also known as ITBS. The Iliotibial Band is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of the leg, from the hip to the knee. Together with the quadriceps, the band provides stability to the outside knee joint when you move.
ITBS is an overuse injury that is common among runners who run on one side of a street all the time or the same way around a track. These are known as “crowned” surfaces because they have a slope that forces the pelvis to tilt to the outside leg, which causes stress to the ITB. Unequal leg lengths, “bowed” legs, foot pronation and weakened quad and/or glute muscles also contribute to ITBS.
The pain associated with ITBS typically occurs on the outside of the knee, thigh or hip and may be more noticeable when you’re walking down stairs or when you stand up from a sitting position. You may start to feel ITBS pain in the middle or at the end of a run.
As a sports chiropractor with a great deal of experience treating patients with ITBS, I have found that Active Release Techniques® (ART) works extremely well to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with ITBS. ART is specifically designed to treat soft tissue injuries, like ITBS, that results from overuse. After a thorough physical examination, I am able to pinpoint scar tissue and I can apply targeted tension to the area while a patient specific moves to release the tissue. After several sessions using ART, my patients notice that their pain is greatly reduced or eliminated and their range of motion has greatly improved.