Iliotibial band syndrome, commonly known as IT band syndrome, is one of the most common injuries caused to the athletes. It occurs when the iliotibial band is tight or inflamed. IT band is a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the outside of your hip to the outside of the knees.

Dr. Rebecca Robinson, consultant physician in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Harley Street’s Centre for Health and Human Performance states that ‘The IT band is a tendon-like structure, a thickening of fascia (the layer of connective tissue that surrounds muscles) that runs from the tensor fascia latae (the TFL, the muscle in front of the hip joint) and gluteus medius down the outside of the thigh to the side of the knee. It inserts at the knee joint and then continues down and attaches to the tibia.’ It is not an actual muscle, but it very similar tendon. This band helps in the movement of the legs by connecting various muscles of the hip and tibial bone of the lower leg.

The most common symptom is pain in the outside part of the knee, and it is sometimes mistaken for a knee injury. Sometimes the patients also experience pain in the hips. However, this is a rare symptom. Once the band is slightly damaged, the person will experience rubbing motion or clicking sound every time the knee is flexed or extended. Neglecting the capacity of legs and overdoing leg related exercises may lead to this injury. 

Using worn-out or improper shoes while training may also contribute a bit to the injury. Excessive jumping, cycling, running, stretching, or over tensioning the nearby muscles leads to problems. IT band syndrome is more common in females than in men as females have a wider pelvis. The best way to deal with the IT band syndrome (ITBS)is to rest and go to the physiotherapist. While resting, you can cross-train too by Swimming, pool running, cycling, etc. Side stretches, pain killers, ice or heat massage can also If the pain persists, seek a physician or a sports medical professional so that you can take cortisone injections to break up the scar and speed the healing. In rare cases, the individual has to undergo surgery to release and mobilize the IT band.



According to Murphy Halasz, a physical therapist at Champion Performance Physical Therapy in Austin, Texas, you have an increased chance of suffering from IT band syndrome if you ramp up your mileage too quickly. The best way to prevent ITBS is to train smart and consistent. Walking a bit before warming up also helps to loosen the band. Foam rolling every side for a few minutes also helps to a much larger extent. Avoid foam rolling at the areas where it hurts or have bony protrusions. Roll slowly at the bottom of your hips and top of your knees. 



Lastly, make sure your shoes are not worn out, and soles are intact. If not, so replace them.


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