IT Band Syndrome: Prevent & Treat with Go Tape

One of the more common injuries runners face is the ITB (Illiotibial Band Syndrome). This presents as pain on the outside of the knee which is caused by friction of IT band, and is often referred to as "runners knee". Generally the pain will start shortly into your run and gradually get worse until you stop. Often pain will increase when running downhill or with knee extension or flexion.

Associated symptoms are IT band tightness, hip weakness, and point tenderness on the outside of the knee. There are many different causes for IT band injury. Often it is caused by weak hip abductors, typically the gluteus medius. Your biomechanics can be the cause: overpronation, running on cambered roads without changing direction (be sure to occasionally change direction on your route or track!), poor shoe or orthotic fit, poor running form, weak hip and glute muscles, and leg length discrepancy.

A naturally tight IT band that is not properly stretched can add to problems. Also ramping up activity too quickly can lead to ITBS. ITBS can be stubborn and hard to heal, but the good news is there are some proactive things you can do for prevention. Keep your glutes and hips strong with strengthening exercises. Clam shells, side leg lifts, bosu squats, single leg squats, hip hikes, and pilates are all great options.

Don't forget those IT bands in your post exercise stretch routine. It's common to use a foam roller on the IT band, but use caution on an already irritated IT band, as aggressive foam rolling can cause additional trauma. Jason Fitzgerald from has a great series of exercises on youtube It is beneficial not only for treatment, but prevention of ITBS. All you need is a theraband and a mat. 

If you feel the beginning of ITBS coming on, take a few days off. The longer you wait to treat, the longer it will likely take to recover. Treatment consists of stretching, massage, ice, Physical Therapy and anti-inflammatory use. Arnica or Traumeel are a good natural option if you prefer not to take ibuprofen. If the pain does not resolve you can try Grastons treatment, or Acupuncture. Taping the IT band helps support the soft tissue and facilitates the weak muscles by providing a stimulus to produce motor results, essentially balancing out the weak muscles with the stronger ones. It also helps increase circulation and decrease pain. The stretchy nature of Go Tape not only stays on great, but also helps to lift the skin and relieve pressure, also relieving pain. Below are step by step instructions on how to apply Go Tape to an IT Band injury. We are happy to provide Go Tape premium kinesiology tape to all of our subscribers in the April/May boxes. 

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