What is IT Band Syndrome?
Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome is one of the most common causes of lateral hip pain and knee pain. The symptoms of lateral (outside) hip pain are caused by increased tension in the IT band. The increased tension can increase friction between the IT band and the muscle and bone that traverse underneath it. Also, the increased tension can pull on the origin of the IT band, which consists of a common fascial junction of the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL) muscles. This can lead to hip pain higher up near the greater trochanter of the femur (outside hip bone).
IT Band Syndrome is also a cause of lateral knee pain. The IT band’s most common point of irritation is at the insertion, where the fascial band attaches to the lateral aspect of the tibial plateau (Gerdy’s Tubercle). However, irritation can be felt anywhere along the IT band.
What causes IT Band Syndrome?
IT Band Syndrome is commonly classified as an “overuse” type of injury. Meaning that if you have an uptick in physical activity, such as walking or running, this can cause overuse of the tissues on the side of the leg. This can lead to inflammation and subsequent pain felt in the hip and/or knee.
Another common cause of IT Band Syndrome is poor lateral hip stability. If we have a hard time controlling our hips, especially during physical activity, the IT band can become tight to compensate for the lack of stability.
How do I know if I have IT Band Syndrome?
There are many causes of hip and knee pain. So, how do you determine if IT Band Syndrome is the cause of your pain?
Common physical symptoms of IT Band Syndrome:
- Pain on the lateral (outside) of the knee.
- Pinpoint tenderness around the insertion of the IT band (outside of the knee).
- Pain and/or tightness along the outside of the thigh (along IT band)
- Pain and or tension on the outside of the hip (near your hip bone).
- Knee and/or hip pain when walking (or running) for a certain time or distance. (i.e. My knee hurts after I walk 10+ minutes)
- A noticeable difference in hip and knee range of motion compared to the unaffected side.
IT Band Syndrome
What can I do about IT Band Syndrome?
With all mechanical (movement) pain, there’s a ‘what’ and a ‘why’ — what the problem is and why it’s occurring in the first place. To achieve resolution, it’s crucial to not only identify and correct the problem at hand but address the behaviors which lead to the issue’s occurrence.
Here are some self-help tips:
- Identify what activities worsen your symptoms.
- Take mental notes of what you are doing when your pain feels better or worse to identify any behavioral patterns.
- Scale back your activities (only for a few weeks).
- Modify any activities that cause your symptoms. For instance, if your pain starts after running for 20 minutes, only run 10-15 minutes. Scale this activity back for a week, then see if you’re ready to go back up (i.e. 20 minutes) the following week.
- Loosen tight tissues
- Overuse of the lateral hip muscles (Glutes and TFL) commonly causes tightness around the hip, outer thigh, and knee. Grab a ball (lacrosse balls work great!) and try to loosen up the muscles before doing activities that cause you pain.
- Below is a video on how to properly roll out your lateral hip muscles.
- Start a stretch routine
- If you’re experiencing pain on a daily basis, then use that pain as motivation to start a daily stretching routine!
- Here is an easy Beginner Stretch Routine.
Find Knee Pain Relief and Hip Pain Relief At REACH Rehab + Chiropractic
Are you searching for a qualified sports chiropractor in Plymouth, MI, for your IT band pain? REACH Rehab + Chiropractic is one of the leading names for hip and knee pain treatment in the area. We provide personalized assessments and treatment to help you regain your full range of motion quickly.
Next time you are searching for “IT Band Syndrome treatment near me” in Canton, Ann Arbor, or another local community, think of REACH Rehab + Chiropractic. We treat acute and chronic hip/knee pain. Book an appointment or contact us today at (734) 530-9134 for effective hip pain relief.