Brief Outline of Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome is caused by excessive friction between the iliotibial band (or tract) and the lateral epicondyle, at the end of the femur where it forms the knee. This friction can also occur at the hip as well. The friction causes inflammation and pain in the iliotibial band. Since this band of tissue crosses over the bony prominences whenever the knees and hips and flex or extend, the condition can be very painful. The iliotibial band is actually the connective tissue for the tensor faciae latae muscle: the band attaches to the hip at the top, crosses the knee, and attaches to the tibia at the bottom. If the iliotibial band becomes inflamed due to excessive irritation from the friction when crossing over the bone, it will cause pain and tightness.
Cause of Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome
Repetitive hip and knee flexion and extension while the tensor fasciae latae is contracted, such as with running or cycling. A tight tensor fasciae latae muscle and iliotibial band. Muscle imbalances.
Signs and symptoms for Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome
Pain in the lateral side of the knee over the lateral epicondyle of the femur. Pain with flexion and extension of the knee.
Complications if left Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome unattended
The iliotibial band and accompanying tensor fasciae latae become tight due to the pain and inflammation. If left unattended this can lead to chronic pain and injuries to the knee and/or hip.
Treatment for Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome
R.I.C.E. Anti-inflammatory medications. Shockwave therapy to promote blood flow and healing. Anti-inflammatory injection.
Rehabilitation and prevention for Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome
Increasing flexibility as pain allows will help speed recovery. After pain has sibsided, increasing strength and flexibility of all the muscles of the thighs and hips to develop balance will help prevent future issues. Identifying and fixing any errors in running form will also help to prevent recurrence of the injury.
Long-term prognosis and surgery for Iliotibial Band ITB Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome can be treated successfully with no lingering effects. Inflammation and pain may return when the activity is resumed, and corrections of form must be made to prevent future problems.