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Injury > Runner's Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome injury "YOU'VE GOT WHAT?" will probably be the reaction when you tell a non-running friend you have iliotibial band syndrome. My advice; save yourself some time and just tell them you have ITBS, it's a much safer sounding condition. Anyhow this injury is another sidelining injury for runners. The Iliotibial Band runs from the outside of your hip bone (iliac crest) down the outside of your knee where it attaches to your knee and leg (tibia). This injury is an overuse rubbing or friction injury that leads to inflammation and scarring of the IT muscle band.


A sharp pain on the outside of the knee, often a few inches above the knee itself, occurring most noteably each time your foot strikes the ground. Its very specific in its location and often feels close to the skin. The guy in the picture to the right is feeling it right now.


I have had this condition only once before and it was during a period of time when I was training on a track almost exclusively. I feel that running on the oval with the slight pitch to the left and the continuous turning to the left caused this injury for me. The injury is normally results from some kind of training or anatomical abnormality be it training on an uneven surface, training with unmatched shoe wear, an anatomical imbalance in your body or running posture, or some kind of repetitive or unbalanced training habit that utilizes this muscle.


This is another injury where the RICE method is helpful. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. But also there are several good stretches that are helpful for this injury. Try crosstraining with other low-impact exercises such as swimming while rehabbing. If your pain is persistent be sure to see your doctor as there are medical things they can do to improve your condition such as cortisone treatments.

Prevention Tips:

Balance your workouts. Don't always run on an oval track or on one side of pitched road surfaces. Avoid rotation of the knee when running. Avoid heavy squatting exercises. Keep your running shoes current. New running shoes should be bought every 300-500 miles of running. Often you don't realize how flat they have become until you run your first run with a new pair. Then you say what was I waiting for? Be sure to warm up before running and cool down after.

Please note the above notes are only suggestions from a life long runner, please consult your doctor for professional advise on any injury that you experience.
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