Iliotibial band syndrome

 (ITB) syndrome refers to excessive pulling or friction of the ITB over the greater trochanter of the femur near the hip and/or the lateral condyle at the knee. This friction or tension causes inflammation and significant pain when the knees and hips flex or extend. Bursitis can also ensue.

Cause of injury

Tension or friction of the ITB. Repetitive hip and knee flexion and extention while the tensor fascia late (TFL) is contracted, such as with running. Tight TFL is contracted, such as with running. Tight TFL and ITB. Muscle imbalances.

Signs and symptoms

Knee pain over the lateral condyle. Pain with flexion and extension of the knee.

Complications if left unattended

The ITB and accompanying TFL become tight due to the pain and inflammation. If left unattended this can lead to chronic pain and further injury to the knee and hip.

Immediate treatment

RICER. Anti-inflammatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Increasing flexibility as pain allows will help speed recovery. After the pain has subsided, increasing strength and flexibility of all the muscles of the thighs and hips to develop balance with help prevent future issues. Identifying and fixing any errors in running form will also help to prevent recurrence of the injury.

Long-term prognosis

ITB syndrome can be treated successfully with no lingering effects. Inflammation and pain may return when the activity is resumed and form corrections must be made to prevent future problems.




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