The iliotibial band is a thick tendinous fascia that originates on the outside portion of the hip and extends to the side of the knee. After activities such as running, walking, or hiking, the iliotibial band can become tight and inflamed. This results in a condition known as iliotibial band syndrome.Iliotibial band syndrome is characterized by pain along the side of the thigh and knee. It occurs when a shortened iliotibial band causes friction over the hip and knee joint. This friction results in inflammation of the fascia. Rest and stretching are the first steps in the treatment of iliotibial band syndrome.  {info source}

What Causes Iliotibial Band Syndrome?
There are two main causes of knee pain associated with iliotibial band syndrome. The first is “overload” and the second is “biomechanical errors.”

Overload is common with sports that require a lot of running or weight bearing activity. This is why ITB is commonly a runner’s injury. When the tensor fasciae latae muscle and iliotibial band become fatigued and overloaded, they lose their ability to adequately stabilize the entire leg. This in-turn places stress on the knee joint, which results in pain and damage to the structures that make up the knee joint.

Overload on the ITB can be caused by a number of things. They include:

  • Exercising on hard surfaces, like concrete;
  • Exercising on uneven ground;
  • Beginning an exercise program after a long lay-off period;
  • Increasing exercise intensity or duration too quickly;
  • Exercising in worn out or ill fitting shoes; and
  • Excessive uphill or downhill running.

Biomechanical errors include:

  • Leg length differences;
  • Tight, stiff muscles in the leg;
  • Muscle imbalances;
  • Foot structure problems such as flat feet; and
  • Gait, or running style problems such as pronation.
    {info source} 
You can also read more about inflammation of ITB on my original blog post-What is Ilieotibial Band Syndrome.

Here are some stretching exercises I’m doing to help with my own problem of ITB Syndrome.

There ya go!  I hope this has been helpful to you.  There is honestly tons of internet information on the subject.  I’ve only composed just a small portion of what I found that was beneficial to me and I wanted to pass that on to you!

I am also going to order an IT Band compression strap to wear above my knee that is supposed to help alleviate the pain and stress on the band.  I’ll let you know how it works!

Happy Running!

3 Comments on Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Stretching

    • Hi Alysa! Thanks for stopping by! I have a foam roller and you’re right, it’s hurts in the best way! I just need to use it more often! I must also admit I’ve been closet stalking you and I love your blog! 😉

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