Iliotibial band syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome is pain on the outside of the knee and sometime known as runners knee, ITB syndrome or ITBFS.
Pain on, or in the surrounded areas, of the outside of the knee, commonly know as the “bony bit”, or more accurately the lateral epicondyle of the femur is the most common symptom. This pain is experienced while running or bending and straightening the knee and can come on gradually.
Other symptoms include tightness weakness throughout the outside of the thigh and tenderness in the gluteal muscles or buttocks.
Causes of ITB vary from individual to individual. A naturally tight or wide IT band may result in someone experiencing this injury more than others. Other causes include:
- Leg length difference
- Weak hip muscles
- Poor foot biomechanics (e.g. rolls in or flattens)
- Lower leg rotates
- Running on hills
There are various treatment options for ITB syndrome.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: Most effective to treat the early stages of injury. Always consult your practitioner on which anti-inflammatory to take.
- Rest: Complete rest is recommended to allow the inflamed area to heal. Running with ITB syndrome will make it worst, though other physical exercise such as swimming or cycling is beneficial to maintain fitness levels.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises: Your chiropractor or physiotherapist will advise you of specific exercises that you can do.
- Foam roller exercises: This is effective to help stretch and remove tight knots and lumps in the tendon.
- Cold packs: Apply cold packs for 10 – 15 minutes every hour until you notice that pain and inflammation has gone down.
- Sports massage: To relax and loosen tissue, a therapist can perform sports massage.
- Electrotherapy: To help reduce pain and inflammation, your chiropractor or physiotherapist may use electrotherapeutic treatment techniques, including ultrasounds.
- Acupuncture: Dry-needling techniques or acupuncture may be useful. A professional or therapist inserts needles into specific parts of the body does. Acupuncture or dry-needling can be beneficial in reducing chronic or long term pain.
- Physical exercise review: Corrections in errors of physical exercise should be made. These can include over exercising or increasing your running mileage too quickly. It is recommended that runners should not exceeded increasing their running mileage by more than 10% per week.
If you are struggling with iliotibial band syndrome book in with one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists to get assessed. ITB is a complex condition but it can be treated quickly and effectively once the underling cause of irritation has been found.