Runners Series Part 2: ITB Syndrome
What is ITB Syndrome?
ITB is short for Iliotibial band. The ITB is located at the lateral (outer) part of the thigh, connecting the hip and the knee joint.
ITB syndrome is classified as an overused injury of the connective tissue. Common complaints are pain and tenderness at the area outside the knee. The most common cause of ITB syndrome is instability of the knee joint or the hip.
Resting is a good option to relieve pain, but the pain may resurface again without fixing the root cause — instability. Sometimes prevention is the cure. Give these preventative exercises a try and see if that it helps.
1. Band Clam Shell (Basic)
- Start by lying on your side with a resistance band looped over your knee as shown
- The leg that is touching the ground should be firm and act as an anchor for the working leg
- Open your knees apart by using the side of your glutes (you can place your hand at the side of your butt to feel it working)
- Hold at the end position for about 2 secs before returning down slowly to the original position.
2. Band Side Walk (Intermediate)
- Loop a resistance band over the top of your ankle as shown in a stance slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Keeping constant tension on the band, start walking side ways for sides ( making sure u are feeling the side of the glutes)
3. Three Point Lunges (Advanced)
- Keep the foot of the leg that you will be working on firmly on the ground, focusing on the 3 point contact of the foot (big toe, last toe and heel)
- Slowly tap the other feet in 3 different directions as shown in the video (side, 45 degree back and back)
4. Board step down
- You can use a step board, low stool, or a start way to perform this exercise.
- Place the working leg’s foot firmly on the board, focusing on the 3 point contact of the feet
- Lower the non-working leg down to the ground slowly while keeping tension on the muscles around the knee (medial part of the knee), namely the Vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscle, in a 3 count down motion.
5. Band knee extension
- Secure a resistance band securely on something stable about knee level as shown.
- Place the working leg into the loop band with the other leg acting as support
- Straighten the working leg’s knee by squeezing the VMO muscle as shown.
- Hold for about 2 secs before returning to the bend position.
These exercise a few ideas to help correct muscular imbalance of the knee and hips and prevent ITB syndrome. Always seek professional help if you are unsure if you should be doing any of these exercises.