Friday, March 6, 2015

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB syndrome) is a very common injury that is seen in track athletes and cross country runners. There are many different causes of this injury and there are many different rehab methods to help fix this problem.

The iliotibial band (ITB) is the longest tendon in the body. It starts as the tensor fascia lata muscle in your hip and the tendon runs laterally all the way down the upper leg and inserts on the lateral condyle of the tibia (Gerdy’s tubercle).2 The musculotendinous junction is about ¼ of the way down the upper leg. The ITB also acts an attachment sit for the gluteus maximus on the lateral side.2

There is a lot of activity that goes on in this area and there is a lot of friction that is created from the back and forth motion of our legs while walking and running. This motion along with some risk factors are the main contributors to ITB syndrome. Some of the risk factors include running on a hard surface, running on a crowned road, tightness in the hamstrings, glutes, or quads, and large amounts of growth in a short period of time.1

To eliminate this issue there are a few different treatment methods. One method is to stretch and massage the injured area until it resolves. Another method is to strengthen the ITB and the surrounding muscles (hamstrings, glutes, and quads) to help in resolving the issue. The best approach to getting rid of ITB syndrome is a rehab program that is a little of both stretching and strengthening.1 Three to five strengthening exercises and stretching and massage after rehab is the most effective and fastest way to be injury free.

ITB syndrome can be very painful depending on how tight the ITB is. So if you start experiencing any pain in this area just strengthen and stretch this area. Hopefully these tips can help you be aware of this injury so you can run pain free!


1Houglum, P. (2005). Knee and Thigh. In Therapeutic exercise for musculoskeletal injuries(2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

2Iliotibial Band Syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from

1 comment:

  1. You mentioned there are many different kinds of ways to have this injury, what are some ways this could occur and how can they be avoided if at all possible?