Leg Pain Caused by Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If you experience chronic pain on the outside of your knee, you may suffer from iliotibial band syndrome. This condition commonly affects athletes like runners, cyclers, and long-distance walkers, because these activities require continuous knee bending. That can cause irritation or swelling of the iliotibial band, resulting in pain and other symptoms.

Read on to discover the most common iliotibial band syndrome symptoms, what causes pain from hip to knee on the outside of your leg, and how leg pain management in Woodlands, TX, can help.

What Is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is also known as IT band syndrome or tight IT band. The iliotibial band is a thick tendon that goes from the top of your hip with your knee. It is located on the outer side of your thigh and helps your body remain in an upright, stable position during movement. 

Tendons are flexible and connect your bones and muscles, providing support and mobility. However, when your IT band becomes too tight, it can create friction when rubbing against your knee or hips. That can cause irritation and swelling and the onset of IT band syndrome.

What Are the Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

IT band syndrome symptoms may include:

  • Pain on the outside of your knee – The IT band rubs against the knee joint when you flex and extend your knee, causing tendon inflammation and pain.
  • Hip pain – The IT band can also rub against your hip bones when you move, causing inflammation and pain. Some people also hear snapping sounds.
  • Warmth and redness – Some people experience warmth and redness on the outside of their knees.
  • Clicking sounds – Clicking, popping, or snapping sensations in your knee are common.
  • Pain on the outside of your thigh – When the IT band becomes inflamed, it can cause pain that runs up and down your leg.
  • Pain that becomes worse during activity – But it continues even when you stop.

What Causes Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

When the IT band loses some elasticity, it becomes tighter, causing more friction when it moves over bones. That results in pain and inflammation often seen in athletes. The IT band may also compress the surrounding tissue, causing pain and discomfort. 

The IT band syndrome is the most common in long-distance runners because they bend and extend their knees continuously for a prolonged period. In addition, you may be more likely to develop this syndrome if you run in cold weather, don’t wear appropriate footwear, run on uneven terrain, are bowlegged, have knee arthritis, and run many miles daily.

Other sports like skiing, rowing, cycling, soccer, basketball, and others also increase the risk of developing this condition. 

How to Lower the Chances of Developing IT Band Syndrome

If you are an athlete, you can lower the risk of developing IT band syndrome and leg pain by:

  • Taking your time to warm up before exercising
  • Wearing appropriate footwear
  • Running on even surfaces
  • Not pushing yourself over the edge
  • Having appropriate rest
  • Stretching after exercising
  • Avoiding downhill running

How Is Iliotibial Band Syndrome Treated?

Iliotibial band syndrome treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Pain medications
  • Ice therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Manual therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Posture improvement
  • Improving your running form

If you are looking for leg pain management in the Woodlands, TX area to help you with the IT band syndrome, Progressive Pain and Rehabilitation is here for you. With the help of our physical therapy experts, we are able to provide the best treatment approach based on the intensity of your leg pain and other symptoms. We can diagnose and create a personalized rehabilitation plan to help you get back on track as quickly as possible. 

Click here to schedule an appointment at Progressive Pain and Rehabilitation.