Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

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Ever experience knee pain, and have been told it is IT-Band Syndrome? 

Did you know what that meant? Or how that came about? 

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is another overuse injury experienced by some athletes, more so runners and cyclists. According to Ferber et al it is the second leading cause of lateral knee pain in runners (2). It is most commonly described as a friction injury at which the tendon “rubs” over the lateral femoral condyle of the knee creating pain (1) that can present as sharpness, burning, and sometimes swelling. 

This short post goes into explaining what ITBS is, what researchers have found the culprit to be to developing this injury, and some things to think about it in order to feel better. 

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Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome

 Lateral Knee Pain

Image via PhysioU

Image via PhysioU

Is your patient presenting with lateral knee pain potentially related to a recent increase in frequency of sport or physical activity? If lower extremity biomechanics are subpar, the iliotibial (IT) band may be the source of tissue irritation!

For more clinical findings click here!


Anatomy

Image via Complete Anatomy by 3D4 Medical

Image via Complete Anatomy by 3D4 Medical

Special Tests

The  Ober’s test  is commonly used to assess the length or stiffness of the IT band! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

The Ober’s test is commonly used to assess the length or stiffness of the IT band! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

Treatment

If pathological tension is present in the tensor fascia latae (TFL) or in the IT band,  soft tissue mobilization via foam roll  can be beneficial! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

If pathological tension is present in the tensor fascia latae (TFL) or in the IT band, soft tissue mobilization via foam roll can be beneficial! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

Therapeutic Exercise

Rehabilitation programs  should address both tissue source and the underlying mechanisms causing tissue pathology. In the case of IT band syndrome, a common mechanism seen is a femoral adduction/internal rotation movement fault. Assess and treat up and down the chain!   (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

Rehabilitation programs should address both tissue source and the underlying mechanisms causing tissue pathology. In the case of IT band syndrome, a common mechanism seen is a femoral adduction/internal rotation movement fault. Assess and treat up and down the chain!

 (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)