IT band syndrome (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) is a common knee injury caused by inflammation of the distal portion of the iliotibial band, which result in lateral (outer side) knee pain. The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia that crosses the hip joint and extends distally to insert on the patella, tibia, and biceps femoris tendon. In some athletes or physically active individuals, repetitive flexion (bending) and extension (forward raising) of the knee joint causes the distal iliotibial band to become tight or inflamed resulting in diffuse lateral or outside knee pain. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, as it moves from behind the femur to the front of the femur during activity.
The inflammation and pain caused by IT band syndrome can be excruciating, and if ignored, can lead to a more debilitating affliction. It affects a large demographic of people including runners, cyclists, and other athletes, as well as individuals who work in physically demanding jobs, especially those that involve a lot of crouching or walking up stairs.
Causes for IT Band Syndrome
- Weak hip muscles
- Tight tissues
- Shoe or orthotic issues
- Poor running form
Sign and Symptoms of IT Band syndrome
The most common symptoms include:
- Pain during early knee bending
- Swelling over the outside of the knee.
- Sharp or burning pain just above the outer part of the knee
- Pain that worsens with continuance of running or other repetitive activities
Treatment for Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Rest: Continuing to run with Iliotibial Band Syndrome will most likely make it worse. So rest is essential to allow the inflamed tendon to heal. During the resting time, remember to keep the affected leg in the extended position as much as possible to relieve pain and swelling.
- Cryotherapy (icing): apply cold therapy or ice to reduce pain and inflammation. Ice should be applied for 10-15 min every hour until initial pain has gone then later Two or Three times a day – Read More About :- Ice and Cold Therapy
- Change in training or equipment: There are a number of activities that can be altered to change the same repetitive motions that cause Iliotibial Band syndrome. Also, there is a wide array of shoes available that may be able to relieve your Iliotibial Band pain.
- Exercises to relieve Iliotibial Band syndrome pain such as Stretching and Strengthening
Exercises to relieve IT Band syndrome
Your Iliotibial Band runs parallel to your femur and is a thick band of connective tissue. Its main job is to stabilize your knee. Iliotibial band syndrome pain usually occurs on the outside of the knee. Many professionals think that weak gluteus and hip muscles are to blame for this painful ailment. If these muscles are weak, they do not support the pelvis or femur as well as they should, causing the Iliotibial Band pull away from the knee. Regularly performing exercises that strengthen these areas can relieve Iliotibial Band syndrome.
Exercising your hip and glute muscles is the number one, proactive step you can take in preventing and rehabilitating Iliotibial Band syndrome. Building these muscles will support the adductors (the inner thigh muscles) and create a strong, balanced system.