Physiotherapy to treat the Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome
What is ITB?
Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is a common injury to the knee, generally associated with running, cycling or hiking
The ITB is important in stabilizing the knee during running, as it moves from behind the femur (upper leg bone) to the front of the femur during running/walking/cycling. The continual rubbing of the ITB over the outside of the knee, combined with repeated bending and straightening of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.
Signs and symptoms of ITB syndrome are:
- A burning/aching sensation just above the knee joint
- Swelling or thickening of the tissue in the area where the band moves over the femur on the outside of the knee
- The Aching sensation just above the knee joint can be felt on the outside of the knee or along the entire length of the iliotibial band
- Pain may not start immediately during exercise, but may develop once exercise has been completed
- Pain is most commonly felt when the foot strikes the ground
Factors that can contribute towards ITB syndrome include:
- Constant running on uneven surfaces- this may cause the ITB to stretch and rub against the outer knee
- Inadequate warm-up or cool-down
- Excessive up/down hill running
- Having the feet excessively turned in on the pedals while cycling
- Having high or low arches of the feet
- Weakness in the gluteal (buttock) muscles which give stability around the hip and pelvis
Physiotherapy treatment of ITB includes:
- Activity rest/modification
- Soft tissue release to the tight muscular structures to minimise the friction of the ITB as it slides over the bone above the knee (femoral condyle).
- Stretching tight structures, strengthening weak muscles, as well as correcting running/ cycling biomechanics will aid to minimise strain on the ITB.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to call 011 064 5670 or enquire online.