What Is It?
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS or ITBFS, for iliotibial band friction syndrome) is a common injury to the knee, generally associated with running, cycling, hiking or weight-lifting (especially squats). The symptoms range from a stinging sensation just above the knee joint, to swelling or thickening of the tissue in the area where the iliotibial band moves over the femur. The stinging sensation just above the knee joint is felt on the outside of the knee or along the entire length of the iliotibial band. Pain may not occur immediately during activity, but may intensify over time. Pain is most commonly felt when the foot strikes the ground, and pain might persist after activity. Pain may also be present above and below the knee, where the ITB attaches to the tibia. It will also hurt if you twist your knee to turn a corner.
What Causes It?
Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band, or IT band, is a thick band of fascia on the lateral aspect of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. 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 continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.
Causes can be from training, muscular or anantomical.
- Running on a banked or cambered surface on which the downhill left is bend slightly inward, causing an extreme stretching of the IT band against the femur
- Inadequate or improper warm-up or cool-down
- Excessive up-hill and down-hill running
- High or low arches
- Excessive lower-leg rotation due to over-pronation
- Excessive foot-strike force
- Weak hip abductor muscles
- Uneven left-right stretching of the IT band, which may be cause by habits such as sitting cross-legged.
How Can I Treat/Prevent It?
- Use of a stability shoe or a Superfeet insert to reduce issues related to pronation
- Use of Triggerpoint Grid Roller or Addaday product to stretch and massage the IT band
- Exercises to strengthen the muscles in the hip and leg
A Product That Helps Prevent and Treat This Ailment
The dual density pad anchors the spiral strap below the knee, keeping the lower leg from rotating internally while maintaining proper alignment. Resin stays increase proprioception to keep the leg in a neutral position while ROM-Tech butterfly shape pattern on the backside of the brace assists with knee flexion and extension.
The a-Fit technology allows an anatomically correct fit, while the Flyweight design provides an ultra-thin, lightweight material that is comfortable and the V-Tech flow through design allows ventilation while in motion.
Find the Zamst RK-1 at any of our Fleet Feet Sports – Chicagoland locations.
If the pain persists you can sign up for one of our monthly Free Injury Screenings with a physical therapist from Athletico or go to our Medical Referral page to find a specialist to assist you in finding a solution to your problem.