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Iliotibial Band Syndrome (cont.)

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Causes

Inflammation of the iliotibial band occurs because of overuse and is most often seen in marathon or other long-distance runners. Commonly, mechanical issues with poor flexibility and decreased strength in the quadriceps muscles of the thigh lead to the inflammation.

Factors such as leg length discrepancy, an abnormal pelvic tilt, and "bowlegs" (genu varum: genu=knee + varum=angles in) may cause iliotibial band syndrome because of excess stretching of the IT band across the femoral condyle.

Training errors in long-distance runners (for example, running on one side of the road only) may also cause symptoms. Since most roads are higher in the center and slope toward the edge, running on only one side will cause one leg to always be downhill from the other. Runners who fail to recognize this issue are at risk to develop inflammation of the iliotibial band.

Because of the mechanics of running, in contrast to long-distance runners, sprinters tend not to develop this syndrome, but tennis players and bicyclists may.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/5/2014

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