ILIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME (IT Band)

WHAT IS IT?

 of the proximal tibia (knee). The IT Band is thought to be a hip and knee stabilizer. Excessive tensile stress on the IT Band will create friction between the band and the lateral aspect of the femoral epicondyle as it crosses over it.

CAUSES:

  • Overpronation
  • Lactic Acid build up in the knee, hip, calf or hamstring
  • Strength imbalances in the hip inductors
  • Poor training techniques
  • Leg length discrepancies

SYMPTOMS:

The most common symptom of ITBS is a prominent area of pain in the outside of the knee. The pain is typically represented as a pulling sensation from the hips or glutes down the leg through the outside of the knee. Initially the pain may only be present when running. As ITBS progresses, the pain may be felt when not running as well.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?

  1. Are you in the right shoe? Being fit for a proper running/walking shoe can correct over-pronation and can prevent shin ITBS. If your ITBS symptoms are caused by excessive pronation, we suggest a stability or motion control shoe.
  2. Are you stretching properly post activity? Often times ITBS can result from tightness in our calfs, hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps as a result of improper stretching post activity. By focusing some dedicated time after the run to the stretching of these large muscle groups, we can alleviate the build up of lactic acid in our muscles. Products such as Trigger Point, The Stick and Moji act as a massage and can help relieve tension throughout the body, especially in the calfs, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes.

OTHER RESOURCES:

  • Focus on strengthing the quadriceps and hamstring muscles equally. Running can cause an imbalance in the leg as we use some muscles more than others. By focusing on overall leg strength we can alleviate the pull of one muscle group over another.
  • Consider your running surface. The road has a natural "pitch" to it causing one leg to land lower than the other. This can result in a lengthening and over extension of one IT Band more than the other. The same result can be found from always running the same direction on a track.
  • Consider adding yoga or pilates as a part of your cross training regimen to ensure that you stretch your leg muscles.



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