The IT (iliotibial) band is a tough, fibrous tendon that originates at the top outside of your hip and ends on the outside of the knee.
This is one of the most important leg-stabilizing structures in the lower body; it does a lot of work keeping your legs upright and strong.Tendons connect muscle to bone and when the muscle is used it pulls on the bone for stabilization.
IT band syndrome occurs when it becomes irritate from rubbing agains the bony part of the hip or knee.Pain from these areas can travel up and down the leg as well, sometimes making it difficult to pin down the origin of the pain.
What Does It Feel Like?
IT band syndrome often feels like a sharp pain on the outside of the knee and or hip that comes on relatively suddenly.It’s a burning or sharp pain that will initially only be felt while exercising, but if it goes on for too long it will begin to hurt all the time.
There may also be snapping or clicking sounds coming from the side of the knee or hip area.There may also be swelling and redness on the outside of the knee.
Causes of IT Band Syndrome
Essentially, IT Band Syndrome is caused when the IT tendon tightens up - there are many reasons for this but chief among them is overuse - too much running, hiking or other repetitive motion activities that involve the legs.Other sports where IT band syndrome is common include skiing, hockey, tennis, soccer and cycling.
IT band syndrome is more common in women than men; this is probably due to the greater angle between the top of the hip down to the knee in women that it is in men.
It usually only affects one leg, but it’s not uncommon for someone to have both legs affected as well.
Aside from overuse, there are a few other specific things that cause it:
Running on slanted/curved surfaces (like the side of the street)
Running downhill for a long time
Running around a track for too long
Poor fitting or old shoes
Not enough warm up, not enough cool down
Not stretching after a workout
Treating IT Band Syndrome
Take some time to rest It takes about 4-6 weeks to heal up IT band syndrome.Treatment for this, and any other overuse injury has to start with rest.It’s not possible to heal something will still performing the activities that cause the injury in the first place.Taking the time now to rest and allow healing to occur will pay off - continuing to train while ‘nursing’ an injury like this will just greatly prolong the time it takes to heal.
Manual Therapy Work with a practitioner who can guide you in the proper stretching and strengthening of the IT band and surrounding tissues. Also, this can help prevent the IT band from flaring up again when activity is resumed.
Natural Medicines IT band syndrome is really another form of tendonitis; therefore treating it with tissue-strengthening and anti-inflammatory natural medicines will help speed up healing and decrease pain while it recovers.
Here are the best natural medicines to relieve IT band pain and speed healing:
Ligament Restore provides the injured tendon with the nutrients it needs to heal and repair itself. It also contains pain-relieving botanical medicines and is one of our most popular products!
Inflammation Relief speeds healing by breaking down pain-generating chemicals and improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to injured tissues.
MSI Supportformula is great for helping to heal injuries - it contains all the nutrients your body needs to repair and recover from injuries.
Combining rest, manual therapy and a few select natural medicines will accelerate your healing time from IT band syndrome.Be sure to rest, work with a good manual therapist, and use natural anti-inflammatories and pain relievers so the IT band can heal completely.