The Iliotibial Band (ITB) is a very thick band of connective tissue that stretches from the outside of the pelvis, past the knee joint to the outside of the lower leg bone (tibia). There are two muscles that insert onto the band: the gluteus maximus and the tensor fascia lata (TFL). The ITB is important because it helps provide stability for the knee.
There is a point of friction that typically occurs just outside and above the knee joint. When this friction over time causes pain due to overuse, it can lead to movement dysfunction. This dysfunction is called Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). Factors that can lead to overuse are training errors (too much, too soon), and bad mechanics (poor control of the joints and muscles of the legs and pelvis).
The pain from ITBS often starts with inflammation, which takes time to build up, so a lot of people start to feel the pain most commonly after a run. The average patient will report an increase in mileage and probably increased too quickly, not allowing their body to adjust. Once it starts, it is difficult to calm down. The mistakes that a lot of people make are trying to continue running, seeking help too late, and/or believing that a foam roller alone will cure all evils. Runners aren’t the only people affected by ITBS; many individuals participating in weight training and/or agility training also experience symptoms of this syndrome.
We treat many clients with this syndrome. It is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries to the lower body. Exercises to balance the hips and manual therapy are recommended for individuals experiencing symptoms. The best treatment for this, however, is actually prevention. We can prevent this syndrome from happening by implementing sound running mechanics and performing movement assessments on patients.
Don’t run from your pain! Let the healthcare professionals at Fit Club get you back in the race.
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