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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when there is irritation to the iliotibial band. The irritation usually occurs over the outside of the knee joint, at the end of the thigh bone.

Iliotibial band syndrome is also referred to as ITBS.

What is the Iliotibial Band?

The iliotibial band is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. It begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin bone just below the knee joint. The iliotibial band functions in coordination with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.

What are the symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

The most common symptom of iliotibial band syndrome is severe knee pain. The pain usually the pain worsens with continued movement and subsides with rest.

What causes Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome can be causes by a sudden increase in physical activity. Sometimes runners who increase their mileage, develop iliotibial band syndrome. Iliotibial band syndrome can also be caused by overpronation or bow-leggedness.

Can Iliotibial Band Syndrome be Treated?

Yes. Treatment usually involves wearing footwear, icing the area of pain, limiting your physical activity, anti-inflammatory medication, massage, and stretching. In severe cases cortisone injections can provide temporary pain relief.

Can Iliotibial Band Syndrome be Prevented?

A few simple steps can help decrease your risk of developing iliotibial band syndrome.

  1. Decrease your mileage or take a few days off if you feel pain on the outside of your knee.
  2. Walk a quarter- to half-mile before you start your runs.
  3. Replace shoes that are worn along the outside of the sole.
  4. Run on flat surfaces.
  5. Don't run on concrete surfaces.
  6. Before beginning a running program, schedule an evaluation by a podiatrist to see if you need orthotics.

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