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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome.
Try to say that ten times without hurting yourself.
But having to say it is indefinitely better than dealing with it.

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) is an overuse injury which happens to many runners throughout their career. You, me, we are all at risk here.

That's why you need to take a few minutes now, to learn more about this painful injury. This page covers a number of aspects on this subject, from definitions to prevention and treatment :

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

  • What is ITB ?

  • How do you get ITB ?

  • How can you prevent ITB ?

  • How can you treat ITB ?

  • What is iliotibial band syndrome

    ITB is an overuse injury to the outside of your leg.
    The iliotibial band is a ligament that runs from your hip to your shin on the outside of your thigh. The rubbing of this band on the bones on your knee causes friction.
    Too much friction causes inflammation (nice word for PAIN).

    Do you suspect you have ITB ? Then do the test !
    Keep your leg straight and bend it. If you feel pain on the outside of your knee at any point, then you most probably have ITB.

    How do you get iliotibial band syndrome

    As mentioned before, ITB is an overuse injury. Common causes of overuse of your iliotibial band are :

  • Past due shoes

  • Hill running

  • Too much mileage

  • Track workouts in the same direction

  • How can you prevent iliotibial band syndrome

    Now you know what is causing ITB it is almost too easy to answer the question on how you can prevent it... alright I'll do it for you !
    Iliotibial Band Syndrome How to prevent iliotibial band syndrome :

  • Slow and steady build-up of miles

  • Replace your shoes in time

  • Avoid too many hills

  • Alternate direction of your track workouts

  • How can you treat iliotibial band syndrome

    When you find out you have ITB, how can you treat it ?

  • Rest And Ice

  • Yes, I am sorry, but you will have to give that iliotibial band of yours a bit of a rest. So less or no miles. Icing the painful area will reduce inflammation.

    Do not continue your normal running routine. Do not be a hero and ignore the pain. You'll make things worse and run the serious risk of making your ITB a chronic injury. And that's something you really do not want.

  • Cross-train

  • Keep up your fitness level by doing alternative exercise like swimming or pool running. By the way, check out why cross training good for you.

  • Find out where you went wrong

  • Too many hills ? Too much track running in the same direction ? Do you need other shoes or orthotics ? Or do you need to cut back your mileage ?
    Be a bit critical here !

  • Ease into running

  • After a (short) rest period, ease into your running again. Take your time to get back to where you were before your injury.

    Protec Iliotibial Band

    Click the picture
  • Protec Iliotibial Band

  • The Protec Iliotibial Band features a compression pad that supports the iliotibial band.

  • Cortisone injection

  • If rest and ice and the Protec Iliotibial Band don't help, then you might have to get a cortisone injection.

  • Surgery

  • As a totally last option, you can have surgery done. Most runners are not happy with the results of this because it gives them "floppy knees".

    I certainly hope you recognise you have ITB in an early stage so that rest, ice and the Protec Iliotibial Band can cure you and you do not have to pursue more rigorous options like injections or surgery.

    ITB is a sign you are doing something wrong. So while treating it, think, be critical and realise what it is you could improve about your running.

    I hope this section helped you understand that ITB, or in fact, all overuse injuries, need to be taken seriously.

    So be wise and only hurt yourself while trying to pronounce iliotibial band syndrome !

    Interested in all the necessary running injury information ?
    Subscribe to the Best Running Tips Newsletter or to my site blog !

    Go from Iliotibial Band Syndrome Page to Running Injuries Page

    Go from Iliotibial Band Syndrome Page to Best Running Tips Homepage

    Running Injuries
    Running Injury Prevention
    Foot Injuries: Foot Pain | Black Toenail | Stress Fractures | Posterior Tibial Tendonitis |
    Heel Injuries: Heel Pain | Achilles Tendinitis | Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis |
    Knee Injuries: Knee Pain | Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB) |
    Leg Injuries: Leg / Calf Cramps | Shin Splints | Hamstring Injury | Hip Pain
    Upper Body Injuries: Nipple Chafing | Side Stitch | Back Pain | Chest Pain

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