Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome is one of the most common and least understood injuries among the runners. Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome causes pain on the outside of knee. This condition is also referred to as ITB Syndrome or STBFS and occurs due to the abnormal rubbing or fiction at the side of the knee, where the iliotibial band (IT) crosses.

What do we mean by Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome?

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome is an overuse injury caused due to the repeated trauma. The condition occurs when Iliotibial band repeatedly slides backwards and forwards against the femoral epicondyle creating excess friction. This type of friction most commonly occurs when knee is bent at 30 degree as the foot of the runners strikes the ground during running. Pinching of irritated structures over the outside of the knee produces ITB (lliotibial Band) Friction Syndrome.

What are the potential causes of Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome?

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome occurs due to the altered running biomechanics resulting from underlying muscular imbalances. The other common causes of ITB Friction Syndrome include:

Weak hip or gluteal muscles
Weak inner quadriceps and hip rotators
Weak core muscles
Sudden increase in training mileage
Poor foot arch control
Inflammation of underlying structures
Poor training habits
Poor muscular flexibility
Mechanical imbalances in the body involving the low back, pelvis, hips and knees
Differences in legs’ length
Abnormal tilt to pelvis or bowed legs
Excessive hill training
Improper foot position like; over pronation
What are the signs and of ITB Friction Syndrome?

The severity of ITB Syndrome varies with varied patients. The most common symptoms may include:

Burning or sharp pain in the outside part of knee or just above the outer of the knee
Burning pain over the outer part of the thigh or hip
Pain that intensifies with repetitive bending and straightening
Swelling over the outside of the knee
Pain that worsens with continued running or repetitive activities
Snapping or popping sound at the knee
What are the Physical Therapy treatments suggested for Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome?

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome generally lasts for six to eight weeks. And as it is an overuse injury causing inflammation; consulting and following a certified and experienced physical therapist will be very beneficial. A physical therapist may suggest any of the following treatments depending upon the severity and condition of the patient:

To sub-side the inflammation, initially, a physical therapist may suggest rest, ice, compression and elevation
Physical therapist may use ultrasound techniques including phonopheresis and iontophoresis
Stretching exercises may be prescribed to restore proper range of motion in the hip flexors, hip extensors and most importantly the hip abductors
Myofascial therapy may be prescribed to correct the excessive ITB tightness.
Physical therapist may suggest manipulative therapy that helps in treating the areas of restriction and moreover repairs the biomechanical flaws leading to iliotibial band friction syndrome
Stretching exercises, especially for the muscles on the outside of the hip, may be suggested
Foam roller exercises may be suggested to remove any tight knots or lumps in the tendon
Strengthening exercise may be prescribed to improve the strength of the muscles on the outside of the hip
A physical therapist will also identify and correct the training errors. The training errors may include over training or increasing running mileage too quickly. He will further help you to correct your running and landing techniques & functions.
Contact Accessible Physical Therapy for the proficient and state-of-art treatment of any of your musculoskeletal or neurological pain or discomfort. Our patient-proven and customized treatment procedures assist you to regain your functionality and get you back to your normal life as healthy as before.

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Accessible Physical Therapy Services provide fast recovery from accident, sports, work related injuries, lower back, neck, leg pain (sciatica), strains, sprains, fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida (split spine) and musculoskeletal problems through physical therapists that are highly trained and experienced in physical therapy, aquatic therapy, hand therapy and industrial rehabilitation.