Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
Iliotibial band syndrome more frequently known as ITBS is a common knee injury seen in runners especially those who are running long distances. ITBS is classed as a non-traumatic overuse injury and usually will present as pain or tenderness when the area is touched on examination on the outside of the leg above the knee joint line but below the outside of the thigh bone (lateral femoral epicondyle). Weakness in the hip abductors is another reason that can contribute to ITBS.
Common activities that can lead to this condition:
- Running (especially long distance)
- Sudden increases in activity
- Activities that require repetitive knee flexion and extension
Common Signs & Symptoms
The common signs and symptoms of this condition are:
- Sharp pain on the outside of the knee
- Pain worse when running or going downstairs
- Audible cracking sensation
- Possible swelling on the outside of the knee
What should be done if you have this condition:
- Consult your Doctor or physical therapist, they may do a series of muscle tests to rule out other similar conditions
- During the early stages of the injury you should modify your levels of activity to prevent further aggravation. This could involve completely stopping the current activity and replacing with another that puts less load on the area.
- Special supports designed to be used on the ITB may be suitable as may kinesiology tape to help with pain relief.
- Physical therapy management may involve strengthening the hip region especially the hip abductor muscles exercises may involve use of therapy bands to provide further resistance.