IT band syndrome is a common overuse injury that occurs frequently in runners and cyclists but can occur in other populations. Your IT band (Iliotibial band) is a long, durable, fascial tissue that is located on the outside of your thigh. At its upper end, the IT band connects to one of your hip flexors (tensor fasciae latae) in front and your gluteus maximus in back. The band courses down your leg and attaches to the outside of your knee (lateral tibia).
Injury usually occurs after repetitive movements such as running, cycling or prolonged walking. Some factors that may contribute to injury include:
• Recent increase in activity level
• Decreased hip strength
• Poor lower leg mechanics and alignment
Pain is usually located at the outside of the knee or outside of the thigh and usually worsens when lying on your injured side, long distance walking or running, stair climbing, or getting in and out of a chair. Initial treatments can include:
• Using cold pack to the painful area
• Decrease activities that are causing pain
• Hip and knee strengthening
• Single limb stability
• Soft tissue massage including foam rolling as tolerated
If pain continues to linger, you will want to follow up with you doctor or physical therapist. Physical therapy can help identify potential causes of your injury. Therapy can also help with the gradual return to your pre-injury activities.
As spring blooms and summer peeks around the corner, many of our patients and their family members are increasing their time outside and their physical activity. If you or someone you care about is experiencing the symptoms described in this article, please reach out to us for help.
Our recovery team has provided treatment for I.T. Band Syndrome for many decades. In addition to providing successful treatment, we also have significant experience in delivering helpful education that our patients can use to prevent further overuse injuries.