The iliotibial (IT) band is a thick, fibrous strip that connects your hips
and gluteal muscles to the thighs, tibia, and lower leg. It connects the
major muscle groups in your legs and allows them to work together to bend
your knees, move your legs outward, and maintain a wide range of motion.
Causes and Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome
IT Band Syndrome (ITBS) is an injury that is often caused by repetitive,
strenuous motion. Activities like running, hiking, cycling, and other
exercises that involve repeated bending of the knees can cause friction
between the bursa (a small sac on top of your knee) and the IT band. This
friction causes painful symptoms, such as:
- Persistent pain, swelling, and tenderness of outer knee
- Diminished flexibility and range of motion
- Warmth or redness of knee(s) after running, cycling, or other exercise
- Sharp pain when knee is bent at approximately 30 degrees, when the IT band
glides over the femoral condyle (bottom end of thigh bone)
- Tightness in hips and outer thighs
- Notably increased discomfort when running downhill
How to Avoid IT Band Syndrome and Injuries
While ITBS tends to be treatable, it is painful and restrictive enough
to warrant preemptive caution on your part. Pay particular attention if
you are a runner or cyclist, but be aware that competitors in any sport
can develop ITBS. Be nice to your knees by making sure to do the following:
Always warm up before a workout. Skipping warm-ups and jumping right into intense athletic activity is a
great way to throw your IT band out of whack (and miss out on a great workout).
Run on flat, even surfaces. True, a cityscape may provide some great visual distractions from the burn,
but sidewalks tend to be slanted and uneven (not to mention rife with
opportunities to trip, fall, or sustain further injury).
Make sure your form isn’t hurting you. In many cases, athletes unintentionally injure themselves by engaging in
strenuous, repetitive activities (like running or cycling) without ensuring
proper form. If your preferred form of exercise includes machinery, such
as an elliptical machine or bicycle, it never hurts to ask a fitness instructor,
physical therapist, or other professional to weigh in on your form.
Aberdeen Physical Therapy for IT Band Injuries
How to Treat IT Band Syndrome
ITBS doesn’t typically require surgery or any other invasive treatments,
which is a relief to most athletes. In fact, there are many effective,
fairly simply treatment methods for getting your IT band back to proper
function. However, identifying the root cause of your IT band injury is
key to a successful recovery—and that’s why we’re here.
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we know what it takes to pinpoint the exact
cause of your pain. Once you’ve been assessed by our experienced
Doctor of Physical Therapy, we work with you to create a plan that will
help you alleviate pain, avoid re-injury, and get back to pushing the
limits of your athletic ability.
Don’t endure muscle tightness, limited mobility, and the painful
symptoms of ITBS any longer! Call us today at (732) 333-6360 to schedule
your initial evaluation.