- IT BAND SYNDROME
An overuse injury common in runners and cyclists, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when the IT band, a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, becomes tight and inflamed. “Cycling can trigger this flare-up, which causes pain on the outside of the knee,” says associate professor of kinesiology Cindy Trowbridge. This can also occur in runners who wear worn-out shoes, run on uneven or banked surfaces, run downhill, do the same run in the same direction too many times or simply from overuse as a result of running too many miles.
HOW TO STAY SAFE: If you’re a cyclist, make sure the seat height is appropriate — not too high or low — says Trowbridge. In a cycling class, ask the instructor to help you adjust the height of the seat as well as find the right location that places your torso in an ideal position. “You want to be able to just reach the bar without feeling all bunched up,” she says. Runners should do a short walking warm-up before starting to run and make sure they replace worn-out shoes. Also, avoid running on concrete and, if you run on a track, change directions regularly.