Obtained from: Integrative Healthcare http://www.integrative-healthcare.org/mt/archives/2011/03/a_summary_of_il.html

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band friction syndrome is recognized as one of the most common lower-extremity injuries in athletes, especially in long-distance runners and cyclists. Casually referred to as runner’s knee, massage therapists are likely to encounter this inflammatory condition.

Also known simply as iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, physiologists debate the actual pathology involved. While some understand this overuse injury to be associated with excessive friction between the ITB tract and the lateral femoral epicondyle, others suspect that ITB syndrome is a consequence of impaired hip musculature. Whether or not tightened hip muscles or localized friction are behind ITB syndrome, several bodywork techniques can help resolve this problem.

About ITB Syndrome ITB syndrome is often observed in those who exercise vigorously. Upon knee flexion, the ITB moves posteriorly along the lateral femoral epicondyle. When excessively tight or stressed, the ITB rubs more vigorously within its groove to generate inflammation. In runners, friction occurs near or just after foot strike during the contact phase of the gait cycle. Downhill running reduces the knee flexion angle and can aggravate ITB syndrome, while sprinting and fast running increase the knee flexion angle and are less likely to cause pain.