Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Clare E. Milner

Committee Members

Jeffrey A. Reinbolt, Songning Zhang, Eugene C. Fitzhugh


Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is common knee overuse injury that is twice as likely to afflict women compared to men. Etiological factors associated with ITBS include atypical biomechanics during running, as well as iliotibial band flexibility and hip abductor muscle weakness. This dissertation implemented a combination of discrete and continuous analyses to identify lower-extremity and trunk movement patterns that may be associated with ITBS injury status in female runners with current ITBS, previous ITBS, and controls. Three studies were conducted. Study 1 examined discrete joint and segment biomechanics during running, iliotibial band mechanics via musculoskeletal modeling and dynamic simulation, and hip physiological measures. Study 2 examined lower-extremity, as well as trunk – pelvis inter-segmental coupling variability using a vector coding technique. Study 3 characterized entire kinematic and kinetic waveforms using a principal components analysis approach. The findings of these studies can be summarized as follows: 1) runners with current ITBS lean their trunk more towards the stance limb than runners with previous ITBS and controls; 2) runners with previous ITBS exhibit less isometric hip abductor strength compared to controls; 3) runners with previous ITBS were more variable in frontal plane pelvis motion relative to the trunk and thigh compared to runners with current ITBS and controls; 4) a more complex movement pattern exists within pelvis and hip motion during running that cannot be explained in the first three principal components. Collectively, this information can be used by clinicians to address hip abductor muscle weakness and atypical pelvis/hip motion during running in female runners with current ITBS and previous ITBS.

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