The symptom of iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is pain in the outer region of the leg from the hip to the knee. Pain may also be experienced at the outer hip or the outer knee or anywhere in between – or throughout the entire length of the IT band.
The iliotibial band, also known as the IT band, is a fibrous band that connects the pelvis to the tibia and knee fascia.
What causes iliotibial band syndrome?
Most IT band pain is the result of acute or chronic maladapted neuromuscular function.
Acute functional problems occur when the body is pushed beyond its everyday functional capabilities.
Chronic functional problems occur gradually when everyday activities don’t promote healthy function. Often, there is no pain or discomfort until stress-related tissue damage builds and movement becomes impeded.
In either case, most IT band-related functional problems occur because of poor or maladapted neuromuscular function throughout our feet, legs, and hips.
There is a direct biomechanical relationship between foot function and the way the legs and hips function.
An unstable foot with a poorly functioning arch system will create poor bone alignment and imbalanced muscle throughout the legs and hips. Over time, this becomes the norm, creating repetitive strain and stresses throughout, thickening and inflaming the IT band.