Preventing IT Band Syndrome
Continuing our Enertor Health series, today we’re looking at the causes and prevention of IT Band Syndrome.
The IT band – the Iliotibial band – is a thick fibrous band (not a muscle!) that originates at your hipbone and runs down the outside of your leg where it attaches just below the knee. It also attaches to the gluteal muscles and the tensor fascia latae, which is the muscle that moves your leg forward. One of the IT band’s jobs is to provide stability. During walking or running when you step forward on to your right foot, the IT band assists by pulling down on your right hip to keep the hips level. It also plays a big part in controlling knee movement – either helping to straighten the knee or to bend the knee more depending on the action taking place.
IT Band Syndrome is when this ligament band becomes inflamed or tight. The band narrows as it reaches the knee and it can become inflamed if rubbing occurs between the bone and the band. Those who have this injury will normally experience pain around the knee joint and sometimes on the outside of the thigh.
What causes IT Band Syndrome?
Overuse is the main cause of IT Band Syndrome, which is why it is so common amongst runners. Any movement that causes the leg to repeatedly turn inward is going to put stress on the IT band – running on a decline, wearing shoes that are not providing the proper support, or even increasing your mileage before you are ready.
A weak pelvis can also increase your chances of sustaining this injury as it can cause your femur (thigh bone) to move abnormally putting additional strain on the IT band. Also if your pelvis is out of position the IT band pulls away from the knee creating even more stress on the joints.
A tight IT band isn’t going to do you any favours either. If the ligament is tight, it’s not going to be doing its job properly which is going to create pain around your knees.
Preventing IT Band Syndrome
As we have said many times in the Enertor Health series, make sure you are warming up properly before a run. Perhaps start with a half-mile walk before gradually building your speed up to your usual pace.
Try foam rolling along the IT band to help stretch it out and avoid any tightness.
Add some strength training to your routine to target the area – side leg lifts and single leg balances would be beneficial.
Avoid running on uneven surfaces.
Running on any hard surface is going to add stress to your legs, especially if you’re wearing trainers that are not up to the job. Consider adding an orthotic to your footwear that absorbs shock and provides extra stability (like a pair of Enertors perhaps?)
Most importantly, if you experience any unusual pain at all, take a few days off training until you have recovered.
How can Enertor insoles help with IT Band Syndrome?
Our 18 years of Orthotics experience, combined with D30 technology has enabled us to create a unique insole that can help to prevent these type of injuries.
If you run or take part in any sport, our performance insoles offer 44% shock absorption – more than any other insole out there – which reduces stress on the knee joint and IT band. Our Performance insoles improve the alignment of the lower limbs and help to control tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone) rotation which is usually the catalyst for this type of injury.
You should always seek medical advice before recommencing any training if you’ve had IT Band Syndrome, but when you are ready to get out there again, our insoles improve the leg alignment so the IT Band does not become stretched – which means the injury is less likely to occur.
Enertor insoles are currently stocked instore at Superdrug, or you can purchase online HERE
Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.
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