The next in my series of common runners' injuries is Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome. I have no personal experience with this one, but Know some of you that do. It is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front of it during the gait cycle. The continual rubbing of the band over the bone, combined with repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running can cause the area to become inflamed or the band itself may become irritated.
Symptoms -- These range from a stinging sensation just above the knee joint on the outside of the knee or along the entire length of the iliotibial band to swelling, to a thickening of tissue at the point where the band moves over the femur. The pain may not occur immediately, but will worsen during activity when the foot strikes the ground if you overstride or run downhill and may persist afterward. A single workout of excessive distance or a rapid increase in weekly mileage can aggravate the condition.
Causes of Injury -- IT Band Syndrome is the result of both poor training habits and anatomical abnormalities.
Short-Term (acute) Treatment -- To treat problems resulting from poor training:
Long Term (chronic) Treatment -- To treat abnormalities such as natural tightness in the band:
Both structural and functional problems need to be considered when treating Iliotibial Band Syndrome.
Well, I hope this information has given everyone some education on this common runner's injury. As always, prevention is the key, so train smart and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Happy trails!