Iliotibial Band Syndrome

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Iliotibial Band or IT band syndrome is one of the most commonly caused injuries amongst the runners. It happens when the IT band which runs down on the outside part of the thigh from the hip portion to the shin portion is inflamed or tightened. When this Iliotibial Band does not work properly, the knee movement becomes painful. And this pain can be that severe that it can lay a runner sidelined for a month or longer.

Symptoms or signs of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The most notable symptom of Iliotibial Band Syndrome is the pain and the swelling of the knees caused on its outer part. Many runners confuse this syndrome with the knee injury.

Diagnosis of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

In order to diagnose this syndrome, all that a runner needs to do is to bend his knee at a fort-five degree angle. If the runner has an iliotibial Band Syndrome, he will feel the pain on the outside part of the leg (knee to be precise). In worst case scenario, an MRI scan would be needed for giving a confirmation on

Causes of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndromecan be caused by anything that requires the leg to turn on the inner part repeatedly and with force. This can include running using shoes which are worn out, running on banked surfaces or downhill or simply running too much. This syndrome affects the seasoned runners as much as it might affect the beginners.

Prevention of iliotibial Band Syndrome

In order to prevent the iliotibial band syndrome, men can do the following:

  • If pain is experienced in the knee area, especially on the outside part, then running should be avoided for a few days if not a week or so.
  • Warm-up is extremely important before one begins with running. One should walk upto a quarter to half a kilometer and then begin with the run
  • One should ideally wear full shoes and need to make sure that the shoes are not worn out, especially along the sole.
  • As much as possible, roads with bumps should be avoided as they tend to jerk the knee. Smooth roads should always be preferred for the run.
  • Concrete surfaces should completely be avoided since they lack elasticity and they are extremely hard to land up on.

Treatment of iliotibial Band Syndrome

In order to treat the Iliotibial Band syndrome, one needs to immediately take some rest as soon as he realizes any discomfort or pain in the outer part. This syndrome does not need any treatment as such, if it is not severe and can get better with enough rest.

Also, if one does not rest, then the pain becomes a little too much and Iliotibial Band might become chronic. One suffering from Iliotibial Band should completely avoid the stairs for a month or more even after the pain is gone as the stairs can cause re-damage to the previously happened syndrome.

Sometimes, in order to get rid of the swelling, one can consider applying the ice park, as it tends to numb the leg and relieve the pain. The doctor might also suggest electrical stimulation if the condition is severe.

In extremely bad situations where the syndrome does not recover, the doctor might suggest the cortisone injection or a surgery.

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