Campfire/bonfire season is here! Here are the top 10 best ways to start yours this season!
"What a long, strange trip it's been." ~ Grateful Dead
I’ve had outer left knee pain when I walk or hike any kind of distance (besides just walking to the mailbox or car or whatnot). For the longest time, I thought that my problem was my knee joint itself. I started taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, to no relief. Finally, I figured out that my pain was Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome. Here is some great information I found about ITBS:
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common causes of knee pain, particularly in individuals involved in endurance sports. It accounts for up to 12% of running injuries and up to 24% of cycling injuries. ITBS is typically managed conservatively through physical therapy and temporary activity modification.
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when excessive irritation causes pain at the outside (or lateral) part of the knee. The iliotibial band (ITB) is a type of soft tissue that runs along the side of the thigh from the pelvis to the knee. As it approaches the knee, its shape thickens as it crosses a prominent area of the thigh (femur) bone, called the lateral femoral condyle. Near the pelvis, it attaches to 2 important hip muscles, the tensor fascia latae (TFL) and the gluteus maximus.
|Iliotibial Band Syndrome: See More Detail|
Irritation and inflammation arise from friction between the ITB and underlying structures when an individual moves through repetitive straightening (extension) and bending (flexion) of the knee. Typically, ITBS pain occurs with overuse during activities such as running and cycling.
ITBS involves many lower extremity structures, including muscles, bones, and other soft tissues. Usually discomfort arises from:
The common structures involved in ITBS are:
ITBS can occur in:
With ITBS, you may experience:
Pain is usually most intense when the knee is in a slightly bent position, either right before or right after the foot strikes the ground. This is the point where the ITB rubs the most over the femur.
Your physical therapist will ask you questions about your medical history and activity regimen. A physical examination will be performed so that your physical therapist can collect movement (range of motion), strength, and flexibility measurements at the hip, knee, and ankle.
When dealing with ITBS, it is also common for a physical therapist to use special tests and complete a movement analysis, which will provide information on the way that you move and how it might contribute to your injury. This could include assessment of walking/running mechanics, foot structure, and balance. Your therapist may have you repeat the activity that causes your pain to see firsthand how your body moves when you feel pain. If you are an athlete, your therapist might also ask you about your chosen sport, shoes, training routes, and exercise routine.
Typically, medical imaging tests, such as x-ray and MRI, are not needed to diagnosis ITBS.
Maintaining core and lower extremity strength and flexibility and monitoring your activity best prevents ITBS. It is important to modify your activity and contact your physical therapist soon after first feeling pain. Research indicates that when soft tissues are irritated and the offending activity is continued, the body does not have time to repair the injured area. This often leads to persistent pain, and the condition becomes more difficult to resolve.
Once you are involved in a rehabilitation program, your physical therapist will help you determine when you are ready to progress back to your previous activity level. He or she will make sure that your body is ready to handle the demands of your activities so that your injury does not return. You will also receive a program to perform at home that will help you maintain the improvements that you gained during rehabilitation.
Side Leg Raise
Lie on your left side, rest your head on your left arm, and place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest. Your legs should be straight with your right leg on top of your left leg. Without moving any other part of your body, slowly raise your right leg as high as you can. Pause, then return to the starting position.
I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I posted here. It’s been tough to even catch my breath with everything going on in my life right now. So what’s been going on?
Well, I’m officially half way through the semester. I’m pretty burned out with writing and such. I’m really quite ready to be done, and I have a six week summer course to do. Unfortunately, I found out that the summer course is in Session B, which runs July 7 to August 15; instead of the preferred Session A, which runs May 19 to June 27. This is apparently going to delay the date in which I can find out about my student loan payment plan and then make plans to either thru-hike the Appalachian Trail next year or start looking for a job.
My internship is nearly done. I have a month and a half left, but out of that month and a half, I only have approximately 16 days of actual interning left. Today I transitioned from Family Services to Permanency, which is my final transition. Before Family Services, I did Assessments. The internship has been great, and I sort of feel bittersweet about actually leaving the agency, now that it’s so close to being over. I got used to getting up in the morning and going there, but it’s all part of changes in life.
I’ve been keeping busy in my personal life, as well. I’ve got quite a bit going on, and that’s OK, but it’s nice to be able to get a breather once in a while too. My goal to walk more in 2014 has been pretty shoddy due to the relentless New England winter. Too cold. Too icy. Snowing. It’s ridiculous. I know it is what it is, but tomorrow is the first day of March!
My mind has been running non-stop with thoughts of grad school coming to a close, interning coming to a close, the terrifying thought of being up to my eyeballs in student loan debt, worries about finding a job, worries about my car lasting until I get a job…I’m trying to train my brain to not worry about stuff that I have no control over. In the meantime, I’m walking the trail to where I want to go both personally and professionally. I’ll do my part and give my 100%. The rest will be what it will be.
I made a “New Year’s Resolution”, of sorts, to walk more in 2014. In 2013, I walked 222.8 miles. So far, 2014 has been brutally cold (below-zero temps) and dangerously icy, so I haven’t been able to walk! In four days, I’ll be heading back to Portland for classes. I’m pretty excited to get this degree done and be able to focus on other things in my life. I’m especially looking forward to finding a way to make a 2015 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) a reality.
Some of you may recall that I was going to do this hike back in 2012. For a variety of reasons, primarily self-doubt due to medical issues, I backed out at the last minute. While I have since been cleared of the then-unknown (now stress-related) medical issues, I still have medical issues that I have to contend with on a chronic basis: migraines and stage IV endometriosis. I currently manage my conditions through medications, but I am experimenting with other ways to manage these chronic conditions. For more information on endometriosis, check out my other blog at endojourney.wordpress.com.
My other main issue (which is why I have yet to make any official announcement regarding plans to hike the AT) is my student loans, of course. I have to wait and see what kind of payment plan I can make with my lender(s). If my payment plan is too high, I won’t be able to hike. If it’s affordable…WOO-HOO!
While I wait, everything else is going well. I’m keeping busy interning, being given more responsibilities and projects and essentially just enjoying the whole experience. I finally did some major work on my LinkedIn profile in preparation for the big job hunt after I’m done with school (and hopefully the AT!) and am always looking for folks to network with there (hint, hint!). I’m back in the saddle, riding into a brighter future!
These past two weeks mark a couple of important milestones for me. As of last Friday, the Fall semester ended. I’m on Winter Break! As of tomorrow, I will interview my first client and officially be halfway through my internship! Also, as of tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be on vacation for two weeks, which will be pretty great.
So, what does this all mean? First, it means I have one and a half semesters left of grad school. I got registered for the Spring semester, and I’ll be taking the last half of my Seminar that goes with my internship as well as Advanced Trauma-Based Practice and Grief, Loss, Death, & Dying. I’ll be graduating on May 17th, but have a six-week accelerated Summer elective to take.
During this Winter Break, which lasts until January 15th, I still have to intern, except for the next two weeks. During those two weeks, I don’t have any plans yet. We have a winter storm coming this weekend, but I was thinking that a road trip may be in order. I don’t know where to, or if it’ll even happen, but it’s a thought.
This has also been a time of great thought for me. For those who know me well, I’m in thought 24/7/365…but nearing the end of my graduate degree has me somewhat panicky. I live in my hometown and I love it here, but there is really no money to be made here and no jobs that pay well in my field. I do have a “dream job”, which I don’t care to disclose because I’m a bit superstitious about that kind of thing. I think that with the right time in the field and experience, I could get a job at my dream employer. I’m still considering a 2015 run for a northbound Appalachian Trail thru-hike, as well. A lot of thoughts in my head, but instead of “waiting and seeing”, I will be working toward my goals.