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IT Band Pain? Think TFL

Nearly everyone that has participated in distance running, or functional training has likely experienced hip discomfort at some point either in training or competition. Many people are quick to blame their IT Band, and proceed to beat the tissue to a pulp via their foam roller, dog toys, spoons, baseballs.. I have heard it all.

While there is some benefit to rolling out the vastus lateralis (under the IT band), foam rolling is highly over rated. A bit about the anatomy: The IT Band, short for iliotibial band, is actually not a muscle but fascia. Actually, it’s one of the largest pieces of fascia in the body.The purpose of this fascial sling is to provide spring during gait , and it is also thought to help to stabilize the hip. The point is the IT band is not the enemy, in fact you may be abusing an already over worked piece of tissue.

What is the TFL? The TFL short for Tensor Fasciae Latae is a small triangular shaped muscle. If you have hip pain right now I would bet it is tender. To find the muscle, locate the pointy bone just anterior and lateral to your belt line, this is known as your ASIS. From this point work your way around your waist line and you may notice some tenderness between your hip flexors and glutes, this is where the TFL muscle lies. This muscle will insert on the IT band and serve to regulate length and tonus of the band. Along with aiding in hip flexion and internal rotation, the TFL muscle is also a hip stabilizer (think alignment on a car).

Why the TFL? If you follow along my blog you know that I believe many of our muscluloskeletal problems come from lifestyle, and poor or incorrect posture causing excessive wear and tear. The same can be true here, when we adapt to a sitting posture (if you commute an hour each way to work and then sit at a desk all day, this is you). The hip flexor’s become excessively tight as well as the lower back muscles. On the other end, the glutes and abs become neurologically inhibited due to the fact that they are not needed when you are sitting. The problem is, when you do run, or get active these muscles forget to do their job. Fortunately (and unfortunately) the TFL is already in a “hyperactive” state due to being shortened (contracted) all day. This means that this muscle is now doing all of the stabilizing work of the glutes. I like to use the analogy the TFL is like a VW trying to pull a an eighteen wheeler. It simply is not possible without harm.

So there you have it, now give that IT band a rest!

We have great success resolving hip pain for many people. Call or Contact Us online and see how we can help you: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Resolve Chronic Sacroiliac (SI) Pain

It is generally understood (perhaps too well!) that chiropractors fix back pain (even though we do other things as well!) This is for good reason, chiropractic care can be a successful treatment for mechanical lower back pain, even the AMA recommends spinal manipulation before more invasive options are considered. More recently, spinal manipulation has been found to produce the best outcome when combined with exercise (vs exercise alone).

What is the sacroiliac joint (SI) and what is it’s significance? The Sacrum is the triangular shaped bone at the bottom of your spine. Initially, it is composed of 5 separate segments which will typically fuse later in life. The area where the last lumbar vertebrae (L5) meets the sacrum is known as the lumbosacral junction. This is known as a transitional segment as the articulation of joints changes. This change make the sacrum susceptible to injury. The Sacroiliac (SI) Joint is the articulation between the sacrum and the pelvis on either side. This joint acts a shock absorber, absorbing forces as you move. Surrounding the joint is many ligaments which makes movement of the SI joint minimal.

What causes SI Joint pain? Improper bio-mechanics of the spine and pelvis are a common cause of SI joint dysfunction. Tight hips and lower back muscles will pull on the joints and the ligaments irritating the area causing, hip, buttock, or lower back pain. Spinal manipulation in combination with specific exercise and stretching has been shown to be a very effective, long term solution to those suffering from chronic SI pain.

Not sure if you are experiencing SI Joint pain? Call or schedule online today and start healing.

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939