Iliotibial Band (IT band) Syndrome
Most people think of Iliotibial Band (IT band) Syndrome as affecting the knee but it can also cause problems at its origin – the hip. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from outside the pelvis, over the hip and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running. As you can imagine the continual rubbing of the band over bone can cause some pain and irritation at the hip.
Signs & Symptoms
- “Stinging sensation” just above the knee joint on the outside of the knee and/or along the entire length of the iliotibial band
- Swelling or thickening of the tissue at the point where the band moves over the femur
- Pain tends to worsen when you overstride, run downhill and when the foot strikes the ground.
- Anatomical variances such as genu varum (bow legs), excessive pronation of the feet, leg length discrepancy or abnormal tightness of the ITB itself
- Running on a banked/uneven surface, such as the shoulder of the road or an indoor track
- Inadequate warm-up or cool-down
- Running excessive distances or increasing mileage too quickly
- Decreasing weekly mileage
- Icing of the knee & hip after activity
- Stretching of the iliotibial band