Iliotibial band syndrome

If you are a fan of running, you know that one of the joints most stimulated by the movement in question is that of the knee and all the various structures that are part of it such as tendons, ossicles, ligaments and muscles. Today we are going to look at the cause, problems and possible remedies to the so-called “Iliotibial band syndrome”

Almost anyone who has ventured into running sooner or later succumbs to the personal challenge and demands more and more from his or her body, and just as one is about to exceed his or her usual mileage, problems can arise one of which is precisely the bandelletta syndrome. This inflammatory manifestation can occur when we send our knee so to speak out of whack, perhaps by an acceleration at our own pace or perhaps by a provo with ourselves to go further than normal. At first this injury manifests as a slight pain in the outer lateral part of the knee and is often mistaken as a simple pain from fatigue, from movement, as we continue the activity this tends to increase in intensity forcing even the most experienced runners to return to an almost walking pace, only to disappear as we stop for a few more minutes. This is one of the signals the body sends us when we are going beyond our physical limits.
The part of the knee in question(the hamstring) is more specifically the iliotiblial band, and it is the connecting tendon between the high fascia tensor muscle and the gluteus maximus, basically starting at the top of the thigh and ending just below the knee. Its job is to support and maintain proper alignment during different movements of the joint. Although this tendon works constantly all day long it is during running that it is put under the most stress due to the large number of times this runs on the lateral epicondyle of the femur.

During running, some runners manifest the sensation of having the knee as if stuck or at any rate no longer with the same fluidity of movement because precisely the tendon, by becoming inflamed, loses its elasticity and this is felt especially when we bend the knee. At its onset one of the ways to relieve the pain, which is often like a continuous pinch, is to use ice for no more than 20 minutes at the stage when the pain is most acute.

Among the risk factors as for almost all injuries there are physical factors and sports factors, in particular for this type of injury among the anatomical risk factors we can find overweight,pronounced femoral epicondyle, valgus knee, pronated foot, lower limbs with different lengths, hollow foot or flat foot and knee osteoarthritis. Among the sports or otherwise movement factors that lead to this type of inflammation we can find running uphill or downhill, the use of running shoes that are no longer in optimal condition, a warm-up not done well, unbalanced or too intense training plans, poor strength of the hip abductor muscles, and even using a bicycle with the wrong size can increase the risk of incurring this injury.

To avoid going more often than necessary to this inflammation, absolute rest for 2 to 4 weeks depending on the intensity of the inflammation is recommended, and above all try to strengthen the entire musculoskeletal system of the lower body, often the tendon in these situations “takes the place” of the muscle in the support phase. To limit its occurrence, various exercises such as single-leg squats, lateral leg lifts, and taking side steps with the help of elastic bands to put more joint force on the muscle are also recommended and can be useful.

Despite all the precautions unfortunately from this injury, one is able to return to previous rhythms even several months later, perhaps with gradual paths of resuming activity with walking and then speeding up the pace and trying to manage the pain through the specific exercises designed and calibrated with the help of a professional in the field.


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