IT Band Syndrome is an overuse injury that affects the Iliotibial (IT) Band, the ligament that runs along the outside of your thigh that connects to your shin. Its main job is to stabilize and mobilize your knee joint during activity. When your IT Band becomes inflamed or too tight, most often due to overuse, you can experience severe pain which can sideline you from running in addition to any other activities you enjoy.
Most people report sensations of pain in the knee on the outside along with tenderness or a reduced flexibility. This is, in part, due to friction in the joint when running or cycling. Other individuals notice a tightness in the hip or thigh area.
This syndrome can be caused by several factors. The most common include an imbalance (or weakness) in the hip and thigh muscles. A training program that covers distances too quickly or running on hard, uneven surfaces can put significant stress on your body’s connective tissues. Additionally, unsupportive or ill-fitting footwear can exacerbate biomechanical issues.
Treatment and Prevention
If you develop IT Band Syndrome, it’s important to take proper care of yourself and minimize your activities until you can give yourself time to recover. Massage is a great way to encourage the IT band to release along with stretching. Plus it gives attention to the hips, thighs, and low back muscles. Through the application of pressure, movement, and the manipulation of muscle tissue, massage can induce a deep sense of relaxation and restore proper body mechanics to resolve IT Band issues.