Iliotibial band (ITB) Syndrome

Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome

ITB syndrome

Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is a problem of over usage that is most often found in bicyclists, runners, and runners that walk long distances. It can cause an immense amount of pain on the outside of the knee just above your joint. While it's usually not bad enough so that it requires surgery, but it can be pretty bothersome. The discomfort that ITB brings can keep athletes and other people that are physically from participating in the activities that they normally enjoy.

ITB is a long tendon that connects the muscles to the bone. It connects to the short muscle at the top of your pelvis called the tensor fascia lata. Your body's ITB runs down the side of your thigh and then connects to the outside edge of your shinbone. This happens right below the middle of the knee joint. The ITB provides added stability to the knee.

Causes of ITB

As the knee bends and straightens, the ITB glides back and forth over your lateral femoral condyle. This is common and isn't normally a problem. However, the bursa (fluid-filled sac) between the lateral femoral condyle and the ITB can become inflamed and irritated if the ITB begins to snap over the condyle with repeated knee motions. This includes walking, running, biking, and any outdoor activities.

The most common way to come up with ITB syndrome is from overdoing your activity. It's from people who try to push themselves too far, too fast, and end up pushing themselves further than their body can handle. This causes the bursa on the side of knee to become inflamed. Some experts think that this happens when the knee bows outward. Runners that wear shoes on the outside edge can experience this, or runners that like to run on a slanted terrain. People that are flat foot can also get ITB syndrome.

Symptoms of ITB

Symptoms of ITB syndrome include pain on the outside of the knee, right about the knee joint. You will find tenderness in the area just after you perform an activity. As the bursitis grows even worse, pain can radiate up and down the side of the thigh and down the side of the leg. Sometimes a snapping or popping feeling can be felt on the outside of the knee.

Treatment of ITB

Almost all cases of ITB syndrome can be treated with simple, basic measures. At first heat, ice, and even ultrasound can be used to help calm down pain and inflammation.

Once seen by a medical professional, he or she can prescribe physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises can also be used in combination with a knee brace, taping of the kneecap, or shoe inserts that help improve the muscle balance and joint alignment of the hip and lower limb. A physical therapist can suggest warm up and training schedules for your particular activities, helping you prevent ITB syndrome in the future.

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