ITB Friction Syndrome

With the Blackmores Running Festival on this weekend, many Sydneysiders are out training hard in preparation.  One injury which can cause frustration and prevent runners from competing is ITB Friction Syndrome.  The most frustrating part is most of the time it is preventable.

The ITB (Iliotibial Band) is a thick band of connective tissue running from the hip to the knee.  When you bend and straighten the knee it runs over a bony part of your knee which can lead to friction and inflammation of the band.

Symptoms:

  • Pain on the outside of the knee
  • Pain during and following activity
  • Swelling around the outside of the knee
  • Possible clicking or snapping of the band

Causes:

  • Running on uneven surfaces
  • Inadequate warm-up or cool-down
  • Excessive up-hill and down-hill running
  • Sudden increase in training
  • Muscle imbalance and joint stiffness

 

What to do:

  • Correct poor biomechanics (running technique), a physiotherapist can assess and advise technique modifications
  • Strengthen weak muscles including the gluteal (buttock muscles) and inner quads
  • Roll on a foam roller along the ITB
  • Replace worn out or unsuitable joggers
  • Reduce running time, distance and/or terrain

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