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What is the IT Band and Why Does it Hurt?

Illiotibial Band (ITB) tendon is the tendon that runs along the outside of your leg from the top of your hip down to your knee. ITB syndrome can happen when that tendon becomes irritated and swollen because it rubs against your bone. When you get ITB syndrome, you may experience pain on the outer leg going from your hip to your knee. Anybody can get this, but it is most common in runners, cycling, and skiing. In the early stages you may only have pain with exercise or heavy activity, but over time you may have pain with any activity that involves your legs.

Runners usually take the hit with this one. If you are a runner, according to, you may want to look at your shoes to make sure they are not worn out. You would also want to pay attention to how much you run on uneven surfaces vs flat surfaces, the amount of miles you run per day, running in cold weather and also watching you gait. For example, being bow legged is something to watch out for.

ITB Syndrome is treatable! There are several different ways to help. You should limit any kind of activity that makes the pain worse. As the pain starts to go away, then you would gradually return to the activities you were previously participating in. This also goes along with making changes to your activity. So you can lower the bike seat or improve your form. You should also try to do some exercises which specifically helps with rebuilding the muscles around your hip and knee. This would also include some stretching too. At the end of exercising, icing the outside of your knee is recommended and would help with the pain and swelling. To help with the pain, taking an over the counter pain reliever would be benificial. If you feel like those do not help much, you can always take a visit to your doctor and they could give you a cortisone shot(s) to help bring down the inflammation as well.

To help prevent ITB Syndrome, try running on even surfaces, replacing your shoes regularly, ease up on your training a little bit, and stretch your lower body on a regular basis. For runners, try changing route or running on the other side of the street. This well help prevent muscle imbalance. Also, have your Physical therapist, or trainer check your form.


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