What Is I.T. Syndrome?

Iliotibial Band Syndrome, more commonly known by its initials ‘I.T. syndrome’ is an over-use injury that affects the knee, the lateral portion of the thigh and sometimes the hip. Pain increases with activity, usually running, and subsides when the activity is stopped.

The Iliotibial Band is a tough piece of connective tissue that attaches from the side of the hip all the way down to the side of the knee. Pain occurs when the Iliotibial Band becomes too tight and over developed from repetitive use. When this happens, it can rub against the side of the knee or the side of the hip, causing pain.

A typical case usually consists of a runner who develops knee pain about 10 minutes into a run. The pain goes away as soon as he or she stops running. The next time the runner goes out, the pain returns and gets progressively worse.

This condition is treatable with light stretches to the Iliotibial Band. You can stretch this area by lying on your back and pulling the effected leg up to your chest with the knee bent and stretching it across you body gently. As with all stretches, warm up properly before stretching and never force the stretch.

In my practice, I have found that ultrasound treatments directly over the I.T. band is also effective in relieving the pain. Follow this stretching routine about three times a week and then incorporate it into your normal stretches you do before going for a run.

If the problem persists, see your health care professional.

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