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Strengthening, Not Stretching, to Deal With Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Here's a routine you can use.

My column this week in the Globe and Mail takes a look at some interesting new research suggesting that strengthening, not stretching, is the best way to deal with iliotibial band syndrome:

They call it the “other” runner’s knee injury. Iliotibial band syndrome was the topic of a special session at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine earlier this month, and for good reason: While it’s less familiar than the cartilage problems that cause the classic “runner’s knee,” it remains the second most common running injury , accounting for about 25 per cent of overuse injuries, and also afflicts many cyclists.

The results presented at the meeting suggest a new approach to dealing with iliotibial band pain. While traditional rehab has focused on lengthening and loosening the stubborn band, early results from a study by the University of Calgary’s Running Injury Clinic show that strengthening the hip muscles may be more effective – not only for rehab, but for preventing the injury in the first place... [READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE]

The article describes a neat study from Reed Ferber at the University of Calgary's Running Injury Clinic. He's had 100 percent success with 23 patients so far with a six-week hip strengthening program. The key exercises use a theraband to strengthen the hip abductors, hip extensors, and gluteus medius.

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