What is the IT Band (Iliotibial Band)?
The IT Band (Iliotibial Band) starts up at the hip and extends down to the outer side of the leg just below the knee. The band functions along with other thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.
What causes Iliotibial Band Syndrome?
The cause of Iliotibial Band (IT Band) Syndrome is inflammation of the iliotibial band. The Iliotibial Band is a thick band of connective tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. It occurs when a repetitive motion irritates the band’s thick connective tissue. The irritation usually occurs over the outside of the knee joint. The iliotibial band crosses bone and muscle at the knee joint where there is a bursa which should facilitate a smooth gliding motion. However, when inflamed, the iliotibial band does not glide easily, and pain associated with movement is the result.
The function of the iliotibial band is both to provide stability to the knee and to assist in the flexion of the knee joint. When irritated, movement of the knee joint becomes painful. Usually, the pain worsens with continued movement and resolves with rest.
How do I know if I have IT Band Syndrome?
An evaluation at the Back to Health Chiropractic & Acupuncture Wellness Center can pinpoint the exact cause of your pain or immobility, but some common symptoms of IT Band Syndrome include:
Pain over the outside of the knee joint
Swelling at the location of discomfort
A snapping or popping sensation as the knee is bent