The IT band runs along the outside of the leg, from the hip to the knee. Many runners find themselves prone to an issue known as IT band syndrome, in which this band of connective tissue becomes sore and irritated, leading to hip or knee pain. Rest, ice, and stretching usually lead to recovery – but it's only a matter of time before another bout of IT band syndrome sneaks up on you. Luckily, there is something else you can do to prevent IT band syndrome as a runner – see your chiropractor. Here's a closer look.
How does chiropractic care help prevent IT band syndrome?
In order to understand why chiropractic care helps prevent IT band syndrome, you must first understand a concept called hip misalignment. This is when your hips do not sit evenly within your pelvis. It's a common condition among runners because many runners log many miles on the side of banked roads. When you run on the side of a banked road, one leg absorbs more of the shock than the other. Over time, this causes the hips to shift into a misaligned position. That uneven position puts more strain on one IT band – and eventually that IT band becomes stressed and sore.
Your chiropractor can adjust your hips to put them back into proper alignment with your pelvis. This alleviates excess strain on your IT band, which helps protect you from IT band syndrome going forward.
How will your chiropractor adjust your hips?
To have your hips adjusted, you'll be asked to lie face down on a treatment table. Your chiropractor will then stretch and move your legs in various ways to adjust how your hips are sitting in your pelvis. You may hear some cracking noises as joints are manipulated, but you won't feel any pain. Likely, your chiropractor will adjust your back at the same time since your spine must be aligned properly in order to keep your hips in alignment. He or she will do this by placing pressure on very specific points along your spine. Once again, you won't feel any pain – just pressure and popping sensations.
In addition to adjusting your hips, your chiropractor (such as SpineCare Chiropractic Daniel S. Wright, D.C.) may also recommend some exercises for you to do to keep your hips in alignment. You'll likely be told to run on non-banked surfaces as often as possible, and to return to the office for repeat appointments so that if your hips do become misaligned again, they can be adjusted before they have too much of an effect on your IT band.