IT Band Syndrome

What is IT Band Syndrome?
Iliotibial Friction Syndrome is one of the most common causes of “Runner’s Knee” and can account for up to 22% of overuse injuries in runners (Worp et al., 2012). The ITB attaches to a bony protuberance on the outside of the knee, and slides back and forth across this point with movement. Repetitive sliding in this area can create excess friction, especially when the knee is bent at 30 degrees, which is the motion that commonly happens just as your foot strikes the ground while running. ITB Syndrome is typically caused by poor biomechanics due to underlying muscle imbalances, such as weak hip rotators, gluteal muscles, or core muscles. 

Symptoms of ITB Syndrome include sharp or burning pain right above the outer part of the knee, swelling over the outside of the knee, and pain during early knee bending. ITB Syndrome also worsens with continuance of running or other repetitive activities. If you detect any symptoms, the best way to get rid of ITB syndrome is to rest immediately, and take a break from running for a few days (Worp et al., 2012). 

Prevention?

  • Decrease your mileage or take a day off when you feel pain outside of your knee 
  • Walk as a warm up before you begin running
  • Replace shoes that are worn out along the outside of the sole 
  • Run on flat surfaces

Perform exercises or stretches such as the following:

Lateral Quad Stretch:

Rolling Out The IT Band:

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Worp, M., Horst, N., Wijer, A., Bacx, F., & Sanden, M. (2012). Iliotibial band syndrome in runners: A systematic review. Sports Medicine. 42(11). doi:10.1007/BF03262306