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What is ITB syndrome and why do runners get it

What is ITB syndrome and why do runners get it?

IBT syndrome stands for Iliotibial Band Syndrome. This injury occurs when the ligament running down the outside of the thigh from your hip to your shin (the iliotibial band) becomes tight or inflamed. This ligament attaches to your knee, helping you to move and stabilise the joint. When the iliotibial band isn’t functioning as it should, it becomes painful to move your knee. The severe pain caused by this syndrome can stop a runner from enjoying their sport for weeks and sometimes even longer.

Why do runners get IBT syndrome?

ITB syndrome can be caused by any activity when the leg repeatedly to turns inward, which is why it's so familiar amongst runners. The syndrome can also be caused by wearing shoes with worn-out bottoms, running a lot of track workouts without changing direction, or running on banked surfaces or downhill. Unluckily for runners, ITB syndrome doesn't discriminate, as it affects everyone from professional runners right down to beginners.

However, the injury is more common in women, which might have something to do with the tilt of a woman's hips, which can cause their knees to turn inwards. The iliotibial band becomes narrow when it comes close to the knee. This is where rubbing can happen between the bone and the band, causing painful inflammation.


It's easy to mistake ITB syndrome for a knee injury, as the most common symptom of the damage is swelling (little puffiness to the touch) and pain on the outside of the knee. If you want to differentiate between a knee injury and ITB syndrome, the easiest way to do it is to bend your knee at a 45-degree angle (while not perfect this test helps diagnosis on 50% of suffers). If you're suffering from a problem with the iliotibial band, the outside of your knee will be where the pain manifests.

What about treatment?

A professional chiropractor at a sports injury clinic can take you through a series of exercises designed to help alleviate the symptoms associated with ITB syndrome. this will be done by using our four core approach and is likely to also include foot review as it could also be foot and ankle that causes the knee to turn inwards. iI your keen to get this throughout function assessment and you're interested in relieving the symptoms of your sports-related injury, Please get in touch with us at the Wimbledon Chiropractic & Sports Injury Clinic today.

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