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Sports Biomech. 2012 Nov;11(4):464-72.

Step width alters iliotibial band strain during running.

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University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Health Professions, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA.


This study assessed the effect of step width during running on factors related to iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome. Three-dimensional (3D) kinematics and kinetics were recorded from 15 healthy recreational runners during overground running under various step width conditions (preferred and at least +/- 5% of their leg length). Strain and strain rate were estimated from a musculoskeletal model of the lower extremity. Greater ITB strain and strain rate were found in the narrower step width condition (p < 0.001, p = 0.040). ITB strain was significantly (p < 0.001) greater in the narrow condition than the preferred and wide conditions and it was greater in the preferred condition than the wide condition. ITB strain rate was significantly greater in the narrow condition than the wide condition (p = 0.020). Polynomial contrasts revealed a linear increase in both ITB strain and strain rate with decreasing step width. We conclude that relatively small decreases in step width can substantially increase ITB strain as well as strain rates. Increasing step width during running, especially in persons whose running style is characterized by a narrow step width, may be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of running-related ITB syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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