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November 21, 2012

Image taken from: http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/itband.v2.html

Also known as IT Band Syndrome in the medical field, manifests most commonly as discomfort on the anterior or lateral portion of the knees (and sometimes hips) that worsens with running, especially downhill and cycling. The discomfort worsens at the moment of a heel strike on the ground, and is usually relieved by resting.

It is important to understand that the actual Iliotibial (IT) Band is a dense, fibrous tissue that runs along the lateral aspect of the hip all the way down to the lateral knee, with knee movement, this tissue (tight like the strings on a guitar) moves forward and back, sometimes rubbing against the lateral portion of the femoral bone. Occasionally it will get irritated, producing inflammation and thus, pain.

People with walking disturbances, improper stretching techniques or exceedingly quick increases in running distance are more prone to the development of this condition.

As mentioned before, resting can help improve the symptoms, but we have to be careful not to fall into the ‘Rest Trap’. Less activity feels like the norm, and thus our fitness level decreases, we de-condition rather quickly and then don’t go back to exercising.

Treatment options include:

-Relative rest from exercises (talk to your Sports Doctor for details on what you should and shouldn’t do)

-Physical Therapy

-Anti-inflammatory

-Adequate stretching

-Shoe inserts (in over pronation cases)

-IT Band knee injection (either with a corticosteroid or PRP[patient’s own plasma])

Stopping activity should not be an option. Talk to your Sports Medicine Physician if you may be having symptoms.

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