Thursday, September 07, 2006
All wrapped up and no place to go
My leg has been bothering me since the Drummond Island race, it has been painful to walk and I was afraid it was my iliotibial band. Damage to this is not uncommon in cyclists and runners.
What is the iliotibial band?
Iliotibial band syndrome is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The iliotibial band begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint. The band functions in coordination with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.
What is iliotibial band syndrome?
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when there is irritation to this band of fibrous tissue. The irritation usually occurs over the outside of the knee joint, at the lateral epicondyle--the end of the femur (thigh) bone. The iliotibial band crosses bone and muscle at this point; between these structures is a bursa which should facilitate a smooth gliding motion. However, when inflamed, the iliotibial band does not glide easily, and pain associated with movement is the result.
I made it in to the doctor today and he confirmed the problem. He worked on it a bit to try and loosen it up and then wrapped it. I will continue to ice it and take it easy for the next few days. He said I can try riding on it this Sunday. With the Addison race only two weeks away I don't want to stay off the bike for very long. Hopefully it will heal quickly.