Repetitive Stress Injuries

Preventing Injuries by Building Tissue Capacity

Preventing Injuries by Building Tissue Capacity

Preventing injuries is a difficult feat because there are so many different factors involved. Increasing the tissues capacity to tolerate load can help reduce the risk of injury. This blog post will define what tissue capacity is and the role it plays in rehabilitation and preventing injuries. 

Is stretching making your tendon pain worse?

Is stretching making your tendon pain worse?

One of the most frequently recommended treatments for tendon pain is stretching. The thought is that tight muscles place tension on the tendons leading to pain, therefore, stretching will help decrease muscle tone and tendon pain. However, could stretching actually make tendon pain worse? This post will discuss tendons and whether stretching is beneficial. 

Tennis Elbow Isn't Only For Tennis Players

Tennis Elbow Isn't Only For Tennis Players

Tennis elbow is the most common condition in the elbow. Tennis elbow is actually a tendinopathy of the wrist extensors on the outside of the elbow, hence why it is also called lateral epicondylitis. The development of tennis elbow is through overloading of the wrist extensors, typically either through activities that require a lot of gripping or repetitive wrist extension. While tennis elbow is commonly experienced by tennis players, it is also common in weight lifters, baseball/softball players, and construction workers. 

Troubleshooting Iliotibial Band Syndrome - 5 Strategies to Fix It

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a common condition experienced by many, but is particularly common in runners and cyclists. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is characterized by pain on the outside of the knee, where the iliotibial band inserts into the lower leg. This blog post will discuss what causes iliotibial band syndrome and five ways that you can fix it at home. 

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is an overuse injury caused by repetitive flexion and extension of the knee. This overuse syndrome causes compression of the tissues under the ITB, which can lead to painful symptoms. Therefore, the first step to treating ITBS is to modify your activity level. It is generally recommended that you do not increase your intensity, frequency, or duration by more than 10% per week. So if you are experiencing pain, you'll need to decrease your activity level. 

Another important consideration when treating ITBS is how you run. Uncontrolled pronation, slower running cadence, and lower leg internal rotation have all been suggested to contribute to ITBS. Having your gait evaluated by an expert will allow you to focus on some of these biomechanical issues you may never have noticed. 

To troubleshoot ITBS, you’ll need three things: a foam roller, a big (lacrosse ball or baseball work great), and a mini-loop band. 

  1. Quad Foam Rolling - Start with the foam roller placed just above your knee cap. The outer quad is commonly more tight, but the whole quad should also be addressed. Rotate your foot inward to focus on the outer quad first. Slowly roll up the quad to the front of the hip and then back down. Repeat with your foot in neutral (to address the middle of the quad) and also turned outwards (to address the inside of the quad). 
  2. Gluteal Foam Rolling - Start by sitting on the foam roller. Rotate to one side and cross the same leg you are rotating towards over the other (ie. if you are rotating towards your right gluteal, cross your right leg over your left). Roll up towards your belt line then down to the bottom of the gluteals. You can also rotate your body to focus on the inside or outside of the gluteals as well. 
  3. Knee Flexion with Ball - Place the ball just in front of your iliotibial band above your knee. Slowly flex your knee and then fully extend. Repeat this motion as you move the ball along your quads. 
  4. Single Leg Bridge - Start by lying face up with your knees bent. Grab one of your legs behind the knee and pull towards your chest. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling. You should be able to draw a straight line between your knee, hip, and shoulder (this makes sure you are getting full extension in your hips). Once at the top position, take a couple breaths in then slowly lower your hips.
  5. Standing Hip Abduction - Place the mini-loop around your ankles. Keeping your torso upright, push one of your legs towards the side. While you are doing this you want to keep your toes straight forward so that you are recruiting your gluteals and not your hip flexors. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then repeat on the other side. 

In conclusion, there are many treatment options for treating iliotibial band syndrome. These five exercises provide a solid foundation for helping you if you are dealing with iliotibial band syndrome. Sometimes joint mobilizations or soft tissue therapies are needed to help resolve ITBS. If your syndrome is not improving on its own, it is always recommended to have it evaluated by a qualified professional.

References:

Lavine, Ronald. "Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome." Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 3.1-4 (2010): 18-22.

Noehren, Brian, Irene Davis, and Joseph Hamill. "ASB Clinical Biomechanics Award Winner 2006." Clinical Biomechanics 22.9 (2007): 951-56.

What You Should Know About Tendon Pain

What You Should Know About Tendon Pain

Tendinopathy is a condition that is experienced by many individuals. It was once believed that tendinopathy was caused by inflammation, hence the term tendinitis. As our knowledge about tendon pain has increased, the treatment strategies should reflect our new knowledge. This blog post will discuss the pathology of tendon pain and also recommended treatment options.