IT Band Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)
Iliotibial band friction syndrome is the second most common overuse injury among endurance athletes. Also known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, IT Band Syndrome, and ITBS, is a common cause of knee pain in runners and cyclists. In fact, ITBS has been reported in up to 12% of distance runners.
Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome?
The most frequent complaint is pain at the outside of the knee ITBS sufferers. They will usually report that the pain will come on the predicted distance and then worsen throughout the rest of the run. This pain usually goes away at rest. At this advanced stage, the same pain may start with other less stressful activities, such as climbing stairs or even walking.
So what exactly is IT Band Syndrome?
Iliotibial band is a thick band that stabilizes the network to strengthen the outer thighs and upper legs. When the knee is bent at about 30 degrees, the IT band changes position and moves backward behind a prominent (lateral femoral condyle) on the outside of the knee. In simple terms, ITBS is an inflammation of the outer knee from repeated friction as the knee flexed. IT band snaps back and forth across the abnormalities, which make it become irritated.
Causes Of IT Band Syndrome?
There are a number of causes and know a lot of factors contributing to Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome. Those who bow legged, a tight iliotibial band, have a high arch, or limb-length differences are more at risk. All of these conditions can increase the amount of shock transmitted through the foot to the knee. This measn that the knee must absorb all the extra strength by bending over and friction from the IT bands.
Prevention of IT Band Syndrome
So how do you make sure you do not become one of the top ten runners that will develop ITBS? As with most overuse injuries … avoid overtraining. One study actually found 42% of all cases of ITBS to be associated with training errors such as mi rise too fast. Nearly half of the cases are caused by training errors can be attributed to a single training session harmful excessive.
Another way to prevent ITBS include the use of custom orthotics to correct the deficit in pronation. If you bowlegged, have high arches, or a limb length discrepancy, orthotics can correct the biomechanical shortcomings you are born with, increase running efficiency, and helps prevent injury. If you have any of these conditions, avoid shoes that decrease pronation. DO NOT use shoes labeled “stability” or “motion control”.
Stretching is very important to avoid the initial injury or re-injury as well. To stretch the IT band, stand with your hands in front of you, holding on to the surface like a counter for balance. Cross right leg behind the left leg. Lean to the left, and you will feel the stretch in your right hip up. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds. Perform the stretch three times on each side.
Treatments For IT Band Syndrome
The most effective treatments have included immobilization, icing, stretching and a quick return to activity. Interestingly, running at a faster pace has been correlated with a lower incidence of ITBS. This is because a higher cadence requires knee remains flexed at higher degrees and reduce the amount of friction to the IT band. This is what happens, you have to shorten your stride and take the rhythm.
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