Iliotibial Band is literally a band of soft connective tissue that extends from the pelvis all the way down to the knee cap. It is the pain felt along the band that makes it the Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The structure of the band is different to a muscle in that it is not as elastic. However, It helps to stabilize the knee cap during any movement. Almost 75% of the buttock muscle called Gluteal muscle also attaches to the Iliotibial Band and helps to support it.
What is Iliotibial Band [ITB] Syndrome?
It is the overuse of the Iliotibial band due to repetitive movements of bending and straightening the knee. This movement may occur while running, sprinting, jogging or playing sports. The repetitive movement may cause irritation and swelling of the band causing pain and tightness. As a result of the tightness, there may also be a sideways pull on the knee cap leading to knee pain.
What are the symptoms associated with ITB syndrome?
Symptoms may include the following:
Pain on the outside of the thigh
Pain on the outside of the hip
How to prevent it?
It is important to do a good warm up session prior to doing any exercising. In addition stretching of the ITB is particularly effective when done at the end of a workout or training as a cool down. The best way to stretch the ITB is using a foam roller. Lying sideways on it and using your body weight to roll up and down the length of the outer thigh. Although painful, it is an effective way to stretch the ITB. Check out the video below to find how to stretch!
In addition to regular stretching, improving the strength in the muscles of the hip and knee will also assist in maintaining the ITB.
However, if the problem has already occurred, using ice and massage will help to relieve the tension in the ITB. It is also important to refrain from any activities that may aggravate it. Our Physiotherapists are skilled at accurately diagnosing the problem and treating it at the first sign of pain. It is very important to seek immediate attention to prevent the injury from worsening.