The IT band, or Illiotibial band, is connective tissue that runs along the lateral thigh from the hip to the outside of the tibia (shinbone), just below your knee. IT band pain occurs due to inflammation caused by friction between the IT band and thigh bone, often with repeated knee flexion and extension. This inflammation leads to pain on the outside of the knee, especially with repetitive use in running, walking, hiking and cycling.
As physical therapists, the physical component of health and wellness is easily understood and commonly discussed around injury prevention and rehabilitation. However, every day we treat patients that have also been affected by depression, anxiety, increased levels of stress, and low self-esteem due to injury and decreased functional ability. We strive to maintain a holistic approach to patient care and effectively serve the communities around us, remaining well acquainted with the benefits of exercise on mental health and wellness. Here are a few ways that exercise has been proven to boost our mental health.
Congratulations! You graduated from physical therapy! Although you may have gone there feeling injured, you are now slowly returning to your normal, active self. As you finish your sessions, it is important to get clearance on returning to running. Your physical therapist can help you determine a realistic running goal to make sure the two of you are on the same page.
Routines are easy to stick to when they’re something you’re used to doing. When we fall out of our routines, it is much harder to get back into it versus staying the course and keeping the momentum going. Working fitness into a daily routine can be hard. For the most part, it’s an uncomfortable experience, especially if it’s not an activity that you particularly enjoy doing. Through my experience, I’ve seen three groups of people in regards to the experience of exercise:
The pandemic showed many of us that we had to get creative with our fitness outside of a gym or group workout setting. When gyms and fitness centers were closed, many people were left wondering what they were going to do to stay fit and keep working on their health. Many ingenious methods were created to combat this problem, and it helped open up a new realm of home fitness that I personally loved seeing. Fitness is an important part of our lives, or at least should be, and it’s vital to keep moving for both our mental and physical health. Even though restrictions for gym and fitness centers have lifted, I want to highlight some of my favorite ways to add in extra movements throughout the day to keep yourself physically fit.
Walking is a great activity to boost health, mood, and even keep you alive. It has even been coined “the 6th vital sign” as walking speed can correlate with functional ability, balance confidence, future health status, risk of hospitalization, discharge location, and mortality. To read further on other benefits of walking, see our previous blog on the 6 Health Benefits of Walking.
Your hips are some of the most unique structures within your body. Not only do 17 muscles cause movement of the hip, but also the joint itself is very diverse in its movement capabilities. Unique groups of muscles that control these movements at the hip are able to move in all three planes of motion. These planes include frontal plane (or side-to-side), sagittal plane (or forward/backward), and transverse plane (twisting or rotational movements). Because of the diverse nature of the joint, maintaining strong muscles and flexibility are key in optimizing hip health as we age. The following will be a set of exercises that are good starting points to target hip strengthening and flexibility.
Getting started working out or staying motivated to your routine can often be challenging. Having a partner or friend can help. Let’s take a look at the benefits of working out with a partner or friend.