The iliotibial band is a long tendon that runs on the outside of the thigh from the glute muscles down to the lateral aspect of the knee joint and attaches to the kneecap and shin bones. Iliotibial band syndrome is this irritation to the bottom of the IT band. IT band syndrome is also known as runners knee.
· Pain on the outside of the knee
· Pain during running and walking close to full extension
· Burning sensation on the outside of the knee
· Radiating Pain up and down the leg
· Warmth and redness on the lateral side of the thigh
The iliotibial band pull the leg out to the side and helps to stabilizes the knee joint. The bottom of the femur is the widest part of the bone. This comes into close contact with the end of the iliotibial band. In athletes such as runners and cyclists who do a lot of repetitive knee movements, the iliotibial band and epicondyle of the femur create large amounts of friction. This friction may irritate the iliotibial band and is usually increased due to an internal rotation of the leg and an inward slope of the thigh. This is often referred to as a valgus knee posture. This inward sloping of the thigh and rotation at the knee increases the tension on the IT band and compresses it against the lateral epicondyle of the femur. In sports that require consistent and repetitive movements, such as cycling and running, this friction accumulates and can lead to damage of the IT band.
Orthotic insoles help to externally rotate the knee, reduce the inward sloping of the thigh, and also prevent hyperextension of the knee joint. These three corrections reduce the valgus positioning of the knee joint and the compression of the IT band against the bone.
The American College of foot and ankle orthopedics and medicine have recommended the use of custom made orthotic insoles in the treatment of IT band syndrome.