Runners Beware: Iliotibial Band Syndrome


female runner

It’s that time of year.  Runners everywhere are itching to get out on the open road after a long winter.  But every year, the spring enthusiasm soon turns to iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS, or IT band).  Many runners are prone to it and why?  Sometimes because they don’t warm up properly before hitting the bricks.

Runners Beware:  Iliotibial Band Syndrome is my contribution to runners who don’t curb their enthusiasm and end up here at Back & Body Medical.  At Back & Body, we’d like to see fewer of you this year, so let’s get started, so you can get your guard up against this common runner’s injury.

What’s an IT band?

Originating in the pelvis and going straight down the leg to the shin bone, the iliotibial band connects your gluteus to your knee.

When functioning the way it should, the IT band slides readily across the femur (thigh bone), aided by the bursa which separates the two components.  But when the IT band is compromised or worn, running can aggravate the condition.

How can I tell if I have ITBS?

ITBS manifests as pain in the knee.  Pain is also exacerbated when bending the knee.  When running or walking, you may also notice pain radiating up from the knee to the hip.

If you’re a long distance and/or frequent runner, the culprit may be overuse and fatigue in the muscles.  Improper technique can also cause ITBS, but so can heading out to run without a mindful, deliberate warm up.

Addressing ITBS

Self-care is your first step toward addressing ITBS, starting with ice.  Icing the injury will help reduce inflammation, which is the source of the pain you’re experiencing.

Medical massage and physical therapy are also supportive, with massage being a preferred response.  Deep-tissue massage is especially recommended.  Professional athletes with this injury will often schedule massages for every day of the week.  But weekend warriors should be good with two visits per week.

Physical therapy is an excellent way to treat this condition.  Your physical therapist will discuss bio-mechanical issues and help you work on your technique to avoid injury.

Once you’ve gone through the first two steps, the next is targeted strengthening and stretching exercises.

Back & Body Medical

At our award-winning clinic in Manhattan, our clinicians practice a multi-disciplinarian model of care which makes a tremendous difference to our patients.  With chiropractic, physical therapy, sports medicine and acupuncture all under one roof, Back & Body patients enjoy personalized care plans and exceptional outcomes.

A combination of therapies is often what’s required to recover from injuries.  What works for you might not work for the next person and vice versa, so we apply therapeutic responses which answer your individual needs to get you back out there pounding the pavements.

We’re pain relief professionals, committed to giving our patients the most comprehensive care available, so they can enjoy a full and rapid recovery.

If you believe you’re suffering from ITBS, don’t hesitate to contact us to book a consultation.  We’ll get you back out there!








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