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Description
Are you a runner battling with pain along the outside of your leg and knee? You may be suffering from ITB syndrome. ITB syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain in runners. The ITB is a connective tissue structure that originates at the pelvis and runs down the outer aspect of the thigh and attaches to the outside of the knee. ITB syndrome is an overuse injury and is caused by excessive friction as the lower portion of the ITB moves over the outside of the leg repeatedly during bending and straightening of the knee (1). The ITB may also become compressed as the foot strikes the ground during running (6).

Assessment

There are both internal and external factors that increase the likelihood of suffering from ITB syndrome. At Floyd Lebatie Physiotherapy, we are very specific about our diagnoses and to make an accurate diagnosis, we need to consider the alignment of the hips, knees and ankles when stationary and running (1,3,4). We also need to consider muscle strength and flexibility (2,3). When considering extrinsic factors, one needs to look at athlete footwear, training intensity, volume, frequency as well as running terrain (2,5).
The assessment is conducted by a skilled physiotherapist and is based on an individualized subjective and objective analysis. The examination looks at gait, running form, strength tests, range of movement tests, flexibility, coordination and proprioception.

Treatment

Treatment commences with the use of anti-inflammatories (if needed) in conjunction with ice application, massage and stretching (3,5). If the use of oral or local anti-inflammatories is ineffective, a corticosteroid injection should be considered (3,5). Initially, it may be necessary to adapt training frequency, volume and intensity until symptoms subside. Treatment should also consist of strengthening the identified weak muscles (6), encouraging good alignment during running and if indicated, balance and proprioceptive exercises. These treatments are not necessarily carried out in stages but instead may overlap one another.

At Floyd Lebatie Physiotherapy, we pride ourselves in providing a passionate, comprehensive and athlete-centered approach to assessment and holistic management. We strive to meet all of our athlete’s needs and your happiness is our priority.

If you think you suffer from ITB Syndrome, don’t hesitate to contact us on 011 027 2111 to make your booking.

References

1.Aderem, J., & Louw, Q. (2015). Biomechanical risk factors associated with iliotibial band syndrome in runners: a systematic review. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 16(356).
2.Baker, R., Souza, R., & Fredericson, M. (2011). Iliotibial Band Syndrome: Soft Tissue and Biomechanical Factors in Evaluation and Treatment. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 550-561.
3.Lavine, R. (2010). Iliotibial band friction syndrome. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med, 18-22.
4.Louder, T. (2019). Review of Risk F view of Risk Factors Associated with the Development of Iliotibial Band Syndrome in Runners. South Dakota: Uniersity of South Dakota.
5.Mckay, J., Maffulli, N., Aicale, R., & Taunton, J. (2020). Iliotibial band syndrome rehabilitation in female runners: a pilot randomized study. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 15(188).
6.van der Worp, M., Van der Horst, N., de Wijer, A., & Backx, F. (2012). Iliotibial Band Syndrome in Runners. Sports Medicine, 969-998.