If you have pain along the outside of your knee then you may have Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome. IT Band Syndrome is an overuse injury that is most commonly found in runners, hikers and bicyclists. The IT Band is a broad connective tissue that runs along the outside of your thigh – starting at the muscles in your hip and ending right below the knee joint.
This is a neglected tissue with the athletic population and can be somewhat difficult to stretch. However, when it gets tight, it can rub against the outside of the thigh bone by the knee causing inflammation and irritation, leading to IT Band Syndrome. Other causes of IT Band Syndrome can be running on a sloped surface, your legs not being the same length or running in shoes with a lot of wear on the outside of the heel.
Some of the main symptoms of this overuse injury will be pain on the outside of the knee, especially when your heel hits the ground during running and/or walking. You may also experience pain as you go up or down stairs.
Treatment of IT Band Syndrome will usually consist of stretching, strengthening the muscles in the hips, modifying activity and reducing the inflammation. In order to prevent IT Band Syndrome and other overuse injuries proper footwear, adequate stretching and avoiding training mistakes is important. If you think you may have IT Band Syndrome or want to learn more please feel free to contact us at Family Physical Therapy!
By Jenn Millen, PTA, ATC