As many runners can testify, IT Band Syndrome (or ITBS, or, fully – iliotibial band syndrome) can wind up stopping your running session dead in its tracks. Although not just runners suffer from ITBS. Numerous people can wind up contracting ITBS and its symptoms can be quite detrimental to your health. What is IT Band Syndrome? Luckily, you have this brief guide at your fingertips. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn exactly what IT Band Syndrome is, what causes it, and what treatments are available to those who suffer from this painful issue. (98)

What Is IT Band Syndrome?

IT Band Syndrome is, generally speaking, an issue that arises on the outer area of your knee. This is where your iliotibial band connects to the tibia itself; IT Band Syndrome can also cause pain to the hip, but this phenomenon is far less common. Generally speaking, the IT band runs the entirety of your outer leg, connecting to your knee. Although many runners never experience this phenomenon, it is relatively common among the types of pain that runners wind up experiencing. Essentially, what occurs is that the band becomes irritated and any sort of stretching or flexing winds up exacerbating the issue and causing even more pain. Running is, at base, mainly stretching and flexing of the knee muscles, and as such, it is one of the culprits of making the issue a bit of a major one.

What Causes IT Band Syndrome?

There are a number of issues that can contribute to IT Band Syndrome, and they are all mainly of the physical variety. This causes range wildly from how they exacerbate or cause the issue. For example, having a weak core exercise regiment, working out far too hard, or even wearing the wrong kind of shoes during a running workout can all contribute to the causes of IT Band Syndrome.

 Poor muscle mechanics and lack of muscle discipline during a running workout are also leading causes of IT Band Syndrome. When choosing shoes, it is absolutely imperative that you speak to a running trainer beforehand. Make sure that they understand your specific body type as well as what sort of running regimen to which you will commit. As far as the regimen itself goes, make sure that you don't add too much mileage all at once or increase your speed all at one time, as these factors can contribute to your chance of contracting IT Band Syndrome. Make sure that you gradually increase your workout regimen speed and distance.

How Is IT Band Syndrome Treated?

Luckily, there are a number of ways that IT Band Syndrome is treated. The most common way that IT Band Syndrome is treated is through physical therapy or numerous spot specific exercises that can be done at home to increase the strength of both your core and the IT band itself.

For example, a side leg raise is one of the best options for aggressively treating your IT Band Syndrome through exercise. A side leg raise is an exercise that is performed by lying on your side, then raising up your leg at a 45 degree angle. Keep your leg in place for a few moments, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat this exercise several times over in order to ensure that your IT Band Syndrome will slowly but surely be a thing of the past. Make sure that you avoid low impact exercises while you suffer from IT Band Syndrome. This includes running itself! Stick to exercises that will stretch the muscle without stressing the muscle. Contact a therapist, such as Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation, for more help.