IT’S getting to that time of the year... marathon season! I see a lot of overuse and repetitive strain injuries and understand the balancing act between training and recovering, being a keen runner myself.

These come about from increasing mileage too quickly and/or muscular imbalances. One of the most common conditions I see at the clinic at this time of the year is Iliobibial Tract Band (IT Band) Syndrome.

IT Band syndrome can be the cause of up to 22 per cent of overuse injuries in runners. The IT Band runs along the outside section of the thigh, starting from a little above the hip to just below the knee.

It is made up of a thick layer of fascia which has some elastic properties. Fascia is a connective tissue found throughout the body.

The IT Band can store a high proportion of elastic energy. This goes hand in hand with new research suggesting that it could be a key spring aiding running/walking actions, as well as the traditional notion of supporting the hip joint.

IT Band Syndrome is very common in runners, especially those running frequently and building up mileage.

Signs and symptoms include: * Pain on the outside of the knee - this worsens with increased mileage.

* Snapping hip sensation.

Treatment of IT Band Syndrome: * REST! - This is the first thing to do... inflammation only decreases with taking the load off the knee joint.

* Wait for pain and inflammation to decrease before working specifically on hip and knee strengthening exercises (lunges, squats, clam exercises are but a few). Proprioception and balance are also key.

* Have your gait analysed to see where you are offloading the pressure.

* A slow return to exercise to prevent this injury happening again. Go back to basics and start your activity at a low level (run/walk/run with a long warm up and cool down period).

The main myth about IT Band Syndrome is about foam rolling.

NEVER foam roll or try to stretch your IT Band - this will increase the tension and inflammation, meaning more pain and inflammation.

Your IT Band itself is just too thick and doesn’t respond well to this treatment. Instead you need to target other muscles; tensor fasciae latae and gluteus maximus.

Accessory muscles such as the hamstrings and quadriceps are also important to target.

See a sports injury expert - they will be able to look into your injury, running gait and advice the best course of action for you!