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IT Band syndrome - injury advice

IT Band syndrome

Know as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, ITB syndrome or ITBS is one of the most common injuries among runners. When the iliotibial band, which is a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the outside of your hip to the outside of the knee, is tight and with over use becomes inflamed.

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Symptoms of IT band syndrome

The main symptoms of IT band syndrome include:

  • Pain is felt when weight is put on the knee or if you bend your knee slightly
  • The pain is always on the outsidde of the knee - you may have aching, burning, or tenderness feeling warm to touch and the skin colour of the area will change to red due to the swelling
  • Pain gradually worsens while running or during other repetitive activities

What causes IT band syndrome?

  • A tight iliotibial band is the main cause of IT Band syndrome
  • Any activity that involves the knees turning inward can put stress on the IT band
  • Activities that can increase a person's risk include: Running on uneven surfaces, rolling of the foot while running, wearing worn out trainers, flattening of the foot or movements when running
  • Not stretching enough
  • Characteristics that can cause the IT band to rub up against the knees, leading it to become inflamed are: Difference in leg length, weakness in the hips, poor or misaligned running gait
  • When working normally, the IT band will glide across the outside of the knee over a fluid-filled sac called a bursa. If the IT band becomes too tight, the band will rub against the knee, causing friction, swelling, and pain

Treatment and prevention of IT band syndrome

  • Stretch your IT band regularly and replace your running shoes and insoles regularly
  • Use a foam roller before and after running to losen the IT Band
  • As a prevention Enertor running PX1 insoles will prove midfoot support, a slight heel raise and give 60% shock attenuation to your knee and hip. Wear these insoles in your daily shoes and trainers
  • Please note: ITB Syndrome and Runner's knee are similar but they are not the same! It’s crucial that you get the right diagnosis before starting a treatment plan. The best way to distinguish between Runner's Knee and IT Band Syndrome is by the location of the pain. Typically the pain of Runner’s Knee (patellofemoral pain) is located around and behind the kneecap and IT Band Syndrome pain is more on the laterial, outside of the knee and partially up the hip. Both covering a relative small area and it is unusual for either conditions to refer pain elsewhere, such as further down the leg toward the foot, or up towards the groin

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