IT Band Syndrome and Runners Knee?
You hear it all the time, "My IT Band is really tight. I have IT Band Syndrome." But what does that actually mean? Having a "syndrome" sounds somewhat ominous. How does it happen? Why does it make your knee hurt? And most importantly, what can you do to prevent or recover from it?
First of all, is the Iliotibial band (IT Band) a tendon or a ligament? It's confusing and there are sources that define it as a ligament and others that define it as a tendon. Let's take a look at each of these definitions to start with. A ligament is tough connective tissue that acts like a shock absorber and connects bone to bone. A tendon is an anchoring point for connecting muscle to bone. Therefore, the IT Band is a ligament because its job is to connect the hip to the shin bone just below the knee joint. The IT Band acts as a stabilizer for the knee joint.
IT Band Syndrome (ITBS) is fundamentally an overuse injury that is very common. It is caused by inflammation of the IT Band when it becomes irritated from overuse. Do only runners get ITBS? While it is very common amongst runners, it can present in anyone playing sports that involve running.
Causes of ITBS could be weak glutes, weak inner quads, or overly tight hip flexors. Once it gets irritated, the IT Band underperforms its job of stabilizing and cushioning the knee. This leads to knee pain. The pain from ITBS often manifests on the outside of the knee but can also present on the interior or as a sharp stabbing pain in the center of your kneecap.
Wearing itBandz can accelerate recovering from IT Band Syndrome and alleviate the knee pain caused by it. ItBandz assist the IT Band in stabilizing the knee while providing extra shock absorption for the area to protect the soft tissue. Here is what one of our new customers had to say about wearing itBandz and their effectiveness with ITBS:
I got the 2 bands a while ago in the mail. I have had severe IT band pain for over a year. Haven't had it checked as I wanted to try different things. Nothing has worked- until today! I put these on and it is like a miracle!!!! There is very minor pain. Thank you! Karen K.
In conjunction with wearing itBandz knee braces, check to make sure you don't need new shoes, incorporate cross-training into your routine to build strength, and try to stay off the concrete and other very hard surfaces. Don't forget to ice after a long run or a tough workout, icing can make a big difference!