Etiology of iliotibial band friction syndrome in distance runners

Stephen P. Messier, David G. Edwards, David F. Martin, Robert B. Lowery, D. Wayne Cannon, Margaret K. James, Walton W. Curl, Hank M. Read, D. Monte Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


The objectives of our study were: 1) to examine differences between a noninjured cohort of runners (N = 70) and runners afflicted with iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS) (N = 56) according to selected anthropometric, biomechanical, muscular strength, and training measures; 2) to explore multivariate relationships among these measures in both the well and injured groups; and 3) to develop specific hypotheses concerning risk factors for injury that will later be tested in a prospective observational study. High speed videography (200 fps), a force platform (500 Hz), and a Cybex II+ isokinetic dynamometer were used to assess rearfoot motion, ground reaction forces, and knee muscular strength and endurance, respectively. A linear discriminant function analysis of the training data revealed weekly mileage, training pace, number of months using current training protocol, % time spent swimming, and % time spent running on a track to be significant (P < 0.10). Height was a significant anthropometrie discriminator, while seven isokinetic strength and endurance measures were found to discriminate significantly between the groups. Calcaneal to vertical touchdown angle, and maximum supination velocity were significant rearfoot movement discriminators. Maximum braking force was the only significant kinetic discriminator. A combined discriminant analysis using those variables found to be significant in the previous analyses revealed weekly mileage, and maximum normalized braking force to be the best discriminators (model P < 0.05). Our results suggest that there are several variables that discriminate between noninjured runners and runners afflicted with ITBFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-960
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Lateral knee pain
  • Overuse injuries
  • Running injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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