The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick strip of fibrous tissue that passes down the outside of the thigh and attaches just below the outside of the knee.
With a good running technique, this band does not move much and there is no pain!
With poor running techniques, the ITB repeatedly rubs over the outside bony prominence of the knee. With fatigue, the knee starts to roll inwards and is no longer in line with your shoulder. This may lead to an inflammatory response. It is characterised by:
- Pain on the outside of the knee while running.
- Immediate relief when you stop running.
- Tenderness of the ITB near the knee.
As with all sporting conditions, correct diagnosis and treatment should be encouraged. The primary treatments for this condition are:
- Rest from the pain producing activities, ice (20 min x2/day), and anti-inflammatories
- Release of tight muscles
- strengthening of weak muscles (gluteals)
- Correction of running technique
- Advice on shoes, training surfaces, and interval training
This is an issue best managed as soon as possible, as it doesn't usually resolve on it's own.
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