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  • Writer's pictureApex Performance Clinic

Running and IT Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a common overuse injury among runners, particularly long-distance runners. The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the hip to the shin. When this band becomes tight or irritated, it can lead to ITBS, causing pain and discomfort. Here are some key points to consider if you are dealing with IT band syndrome as a runner:

Rest and Recovery:

Rest is crucial to allow the inflammation and irritation to subside. Avoid activities that worsen the pain, such as running or activities that stress the IT band.

Ice and Compression:

Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation. Compression through a bandage or brace may also be beneficial.


Regular stretching of the IT band, quadriceps, and hip muscles can help alleviate tightness and prevent future issues. Focus on stretches that target the hip flexors, glutes, and the IT band itself.

Strengthening Exercises:

Strengthening exercises for the muscles around the hip and knee can provide stability and support to the IT band. Focus on exercises for the hip abductors, external rotators, and quadriceps.

Running Surface and Terrain:

Consider running on softer surfaces temporarily, such as trails, rather than hard pavement. Softer surfaces can reduce the impact on your joints and may be less stressful on the IT band.

Proper Footwear:

Ensure that you are wearing appropriate running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Proper footwear can help reduce stress on the IT band.

Gradual Increase in Intensity:

Avoid sudden increases in training intensity or mileage. Gradually progress your running routine to allow your body to adapt and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.


Incorporate cross-training activities that are low-impact, such as swimming or cycling, to maintain cardiovascular fitness while giving your IT band time to heal.

Seek Professional Advice:

If the pain persists, consider consulting a healthcare professional, such as a sports chiropractor or physical therapist. They can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend specific exercises, and offer guidance on recovery.

Biomechanical Assessment:

Assess your running biomechanics. Poor running form, such as overpronation, can contribute to ITBS. Overpronation occurs when there is excessive inward rolling of the foot. This can lead to inefficient shock absorption and further stress on the ankle. Shoes that show excessive wear on the inside edge of the sole can indicate overpronation.

Remember that every body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to listen to your body, and if the pain persists, seek professional advice to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treat

ment plan.

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