We’re well into the annual get fit for the Summer season with some hitting the gym like crazy and others enjoying the good weather by heading out for long runs in the parks or running to and from work. Whatever your goal this season, don’t forget to look after yourself and stay injury free by gradually increasing your exercise load to allow your body to adapt to the new demands being placed upon it, listening to your body when it tells you to rest and most importantly by stretching regularly and effectively.
One of the most common injuries I see, particularly with so many marathons and half marathons coming up, is ‘runners knee’ – pain on the outside of the knee due to friction between the ilio-tibial band (a band of connective tissue stretching down the outside of the thigh to below the knee) and the outside of the knee joint. This can be caused by a number of possible things including an imbalance in muscle tone, restrictions in the hip joint, leg length discrepancy and, most importantly, poor stretching.
The ilio-tibial band is a tough area to stretch effectively and I advise active patients, particularly runners, to invest in a foam roller so that they can regularly keep that ilio-tibial band nice and loose to reduce the risk of injury and to prevent a previous injury from reoccurring.
Best of luck with your training whatever your goals,
Geoffrey Hogan (M.Ost)