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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Have you any stretches for illiacus and the fascia covering the hip/ thigh area?

Hi Gary,
I just wondered if you had any stretches for illiacus and the fascia covering the hip/ thigh area. I am a former elite runner and now can barely jog the leg seizes up and has a dull ache with tingling/pins and needles.
I would appreciate any help
Gary comments:
Stretching this muscle group (iliotibial band) is not the solution, although some relief may be felt.  
The most likely cause is the buttock muscles being in spasm.  These muscles include the Piriformis which can impinge on the sciatic nerve causing pain, spasm and pins and needles down the back and side of the leg.

Anything other than gentle stretching of a muscle that is chronically in spasm risks overstretching the healthy muscle at the borders where it merges into the gristly unhealthy muscle, extending the length of the affected area.

I find the best approach is a series of weekly deep tissue massages, easy exercise that takes the
 muscles through their range of motion, gentle stretching and nutrition (An imbalance in MgPO4
 and other tissue salts, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids may cause spasm).  Of course, the iliotibial band may be affected with knots and adhesions and these require attention at the same time as dealing with any buttockand low back spasm.

Your Trainer or Physiotherapist may tell you that you need to "Activate your Glutes".  Do not worry about this - it is just one of those misinformed fads that will pass.  If one's Glutes are inflamed and in spasm, attempting to tense these muscles will be a waste of time and may even make matters much worse.

I can help further with the nutrition - You will need to complete the Active Elements Assessment on this website, tell me about your, exercise patterns, diet - what you have eaten and drunk over the last 24 hours and list any health conditions, medications and supplements and their purposes.  

Massage: Locate an experienced sports massage therapist in your area.  3-4 sessions should be sufficient to gain significant relief.  It is best to commence the massage therapy about 1-2 weeks after commencing any nutrition programme.  When I employ this approach I have most athletes back running within a day or so and they never look back.

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