This cross-sectional laboratory study was conducted with the aim of assessing differences in hip strength, iliotibial band length, and hip and knee mechanics during running between male runners with iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and healthy controls. Flexibility, strength, and running mechanics are commonly assessed in patients with ITBS. However, these variables have not been evaluated concurrently in this population. Methods Thirty-four men participated (17 healthy, 17 ITBS). Hip strength was measured with a handheld dynamometer, and iliotibial band length was assessed using an inclinometer while performing the Ober test. Kinetic and 3-D kinematic data were obtained during running. Kinematic variables of interest included frontal and transverse plane hip and knee joint angles during early stance. Independent-samples t tests, as well as effect sizes, were used to assess group differences. In comparison to the control group, persons with ITBS had a significantly lower Ober measurement (1.2°), weaker hip external rotators (1.2 Nm/kg), greater hip internal rotation (3.7°), and greater knee adduction (3.6°). However, only hip internal rotation and knee adduction exceeded the minimal detectable difference value.
The results of this study indicate that intervention strategies that target neuromuscular control of the hip and knee may be appropriate for males with ITBS.