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Everything IT Band

Jul 24, 2019


Iliotibial band syndrome (also known as: IT band syndrome, ITB syndrome, or ITBS) is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners and endurance athletes. The IT band itself is a thick band of connective tissue that begins at the outside of your hip and extends to the outside of your knee.  When this becomes tight or inflamed it can typically cause pain along the outside of the knee.  

The purpose of the IT band is stabilization of the knee joint but when this relationship isn’t working properly pain begins to set in.  With running or other endurance sports where there is frequent repetitive movement the pain can become severe enough to remove you from your sport or activity.  


Common Causes of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Some common external sources contributing to IT band syndrome may include:

  • Wearing worn-out shoes
  • Running Downhill
  • Running on banked surfaces
  • Repeatedly running the same direction on a track

Some internal sources contributing to IT band syndrome include:

  • Glute Weakness
  • Abductor Weakness
  • Pelvic Alignment

***It is also important to note that IT band syndrome is more common among women than men due to anatomical differences in the size of the pelvis.  

All of these factors contribute to an increase of friction as the IT band slides back and forth over the outside of the knee during repetitive knee flexion and extension movements (Running).



So the next question is, how do we treat it?  The first key is to either rest or alternate your activity to something that requires less repeated flexion and extension of the knee like swimming, cycling, rowing or weightraining.  If after a week or two of this you are still suffering from pain or if pain again flares up after getting back into running, its time to see a doctor.  


My treatment approach for IT band syndrome

  • Proper alignment of the pelvis through chiropractic manipulation
  • Active Release Technique, Dry Needling, or other passive therapies to ease muscle hypertonicity and tension
  • Cupping to stimulate circulation to surrounding muscles
  • Strengthening and Stretching Program for the glutes and core


Preventing Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The best plan for IT band syndrome is to never get it.  Here are some ways to be proactive:

  • Maintaining proper alignment of spine and pelvis
  • Incorporate strengthening exercises for the glutes and core
  • Stretch regularly
  • Don’t ramp up mileage or activity to quickly
  • Foam rolling

*** STOP foam rolling your IT Band.  It’s not that it’s hurting you but more so that it isn’t really helping you.  With the IT band being comprised of mostly connective tissue the more effective method would be to foam roll the surrounding musculature (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes).  Also stay away from any bony surfaces, trust me, it hurts.  


If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment feel free to reach us at one of our offices in Sharonville, Wilmington, or Beechmont.  We provide chiropractic care, active release technique, dry needling, cupping, and functional rehab.

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Rohlfs Chiropractic Care

Rohlfs Chiropractic Care of Wilmington