Study design: Cross-sectional experimental laboratory study.
Objective: To examine differences in running mechanics between runners who had previously sustained iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and runners with no knee-related running injuries.
Background: ITBS is the second leading cause of knee pain in runners and the most common cause of lateral knee pain. Despite its prevalence, few biomechanical studies have been conducted to better understand its aetiology. Because the iliotibial band has both femoral and tibial attachments, it is possible that atypical hip and foot mechanics could result in the development of ITBS.
Methods: The running mechanics of 35 females who had previously sustained ITBS were compared to 35 healthy age-matched and running distance-matched healthy females. Comparisons of hip, knee, and ankle 3-dimensional kinematics and internal moments during the stance phase of running gait were measured.
Results: The ITBS group exhibited significantly greater peak rearfoot invertor moment, peak knee internal rotation angle, and peak hip adduction angle compared to controls. No significant differences in peak rearfoot eversion angle, peak knee flexion angle, peak knee external rotator moment, or peak hip abductor moments were observed between groups.
Conclusion: Females with a previous history of ITBS demonstrate a kinematic profile that is suggestive of increased stress on the iliotibial band. These results were generally similar to those reported for a prospective study conducted within the same laboratory environment.