Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is an overuse injury experienced by runners that is marked by severe knee pain. Once it starts, it can be quite difficult to cure. Non-runners may not be familiar with the iliotibial band or IT band, which is a stabilizing fascia on the outside of the leg and connects at the hip, to below the knee cap.

The purpose of the iliotibial band or IT band is to stabilize the legs when the quadriceps are tired. Quadriceps are the big muscles at the front of the thighs. In fact, the quadriceps are the most important muscles for distance runners, along with hamstrings. When the quadriceps get tired or fatigued, the IT bands ensure that there is no excessive side-to-side leg motion that could potentially damage the hips and knees.

The IT band syndrome may be caused due to a variety of reasons, such as overpronation or underpronation, discrepancies in the length of the legs, muscular imbalance, tight hip flexors or quadriceps muscles and an excessive Q-angle.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is hard to diagnose because the symptoms appear only when the injury becomes really severe. It is easy to feel sore and have tight quadriceps, but not so to identify when the IT bands get tightened. This can occur without any pain, and at first, there is no loss of flexibility either.

Long distance runners first realize that there is a problem pretty much in the middle of a race, when they feel severe pain in the attachment points. They first feel the pain at the side of the hip, or at the lateral side of the kneecap. The pain can go away for a short period of time, but the relief is only temporary as it comes back in a much more severe form, weeks or even months later.

How Do Foot Orthotics Help?

Foot orthotics are custom made shoes and shoe inserts that help to relieve the pain and the tenderness in the high pressure areas in the foot. Wearing foot orthotics helps to alleviate some of the suffering caused due to various leg and foot conditions, such as the IT band syndrome. Foot orthotics also help to alleviate the pain due to Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, chondromalacia patella and other foot conditions.

Foot orthotics addresses issues related to leg pain, foot pain, leg length differences, leg tiredness, back pain, bunions and several other leg and foot related issues. Foot orthotics are custom designed to meet the specific requirements of each individual. Wearing foot orthotics helps to alleviate pain from conditions such as IT band syndrome that long distance runners may have.