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Bio Anatomy: The IT Band

The IT Band is a broad, flat sheet of connective tissue that runs from the lateral side of ilium (hip bone) down the outside of the leg to the tibia (lower leg). This tissue serves as a tendon for the Tensor Fascia Lata muscle as well as the Gluteus Maximus muscle. In addition, the IT Band serves as a passive restraint for lateral forces to the hip and knee joints.

IT Band Muscles: The Tensor Fascia Lata muscle has two divisions (the anterior, posterior fibers), while the Gluteus Maximus muscle has three divisions (the iliac, the sacral, and coccygeal fibers). When all divisions of these two muscles are strong, movements of the hip and knee can be performed more easily, efficiently, and pain-free. The resulting pull on the Ilio-Tibial Band will be appropriately directed and this can provide a great amount of stability to the hip when performing such movements as hip flexion, extension, abduction and internal/ external rotation.

Conversely, a loss of stability (weakness) in any of the muscles that pull on the Read the rest of this entry

Bio Anatomy: Shin Splints

Tibialis Anterior and/or Tibialis Posterior tendonitis or “shin splints” generally refers to pain anywhere along the shinbone (tibia) between the knee and the ankle. It occurs as an overuse injury with damage and inflammation of the tendons and muscles that run up the shin. Shin splints are commonly seen in runners and athletes.

Signs and symptoms may include pain along the front inside edge of your shin.  You may also have pain on the inner back side of your leg. The area may be tender to the touch and in some cases can become red and swollen. You may be able to reproduce the pain of shin splints by pointing your foot and toes down, but it is mostly aggravated by activity and exercise. Your doctor may consider an x-ray to rule out stress fractures and other conditions.

One cause of shin splints is overuse of the involved muscles.  This can happen with an increase in exercise levels, repetitive movements as in running and other stresses to the lower leg such as hard or changing running surfaces.

Another major (and often overlooked) contributor to shin splints is over-pronation or arch flattening from Read the rest of this entry