What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common injuries among runners who push a bit to far. This condition occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed. The IT band attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint. When the IT band isn’t working properly, movement of the knee (and, therefore, running) becomes painful. IT band pain can be severe enough to completely sideline a runner for weeks, or even longer.

Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The most notable symptom is swelling and pain on the outside of the knee and many runners mistakenly think they have a more serious knee injury. The most effective way to tell if you have ITBS is to bend your knee at a 45-degree angle. If you have an IT band problem, you’ll feel pain on the outside of the knee.

Tips to Prevent Iliotibial Band Syndrome

  • Most importantly, always decrease your mileage or take a few days off if you feel pain on the outside of your knee.
  • Walk a quarter- to half-mile before you start your runs.
  • Make sure your shoes aren’t worn along the outside of the sole. If they are, replace them.
  • Run in the middle of the road where it’s flat. (To do this safely, you’ll need to find roads with little or no traffic and excellent visibility.)
  • Don’t run on concrete surfaces.
  • When running on a track, change directions repeatedly.
  • Schedule an evaluation with your chiropractor