Pain and inflammation on the outside of the knee, where the iliotibial band (a muscle on the outside of the thigh) becomes tendinous, and results in a friction syndrome by rubbing against the femur (thigh bone) as it runs alongside the knee joint.
Initially, a dull ache 1-2 kilometres into a run, with pain remaining for the duration of the run. The pain disappears soon after stopping running. Pain is worse on running downhill, or on cambered surfaces. Pain may be present when walking up or down stairs.
Anything that causes the leg to bend inwards, stretching the ITB against the femur. For example over pronation (feet rotate too far inward on impact), tightness of the ITB muscle, lack of stretching of the ITB, incorrect or worn shoes, excessive hill running (especially downhills) and running on cambered surfaces.
Treatment of Illiotibial Band Friction Syndrome:
* Rest – activity should be limited to those which are unlikely to aggravate the injured site such as swimming and cycling.
*Ice – ice will help reduce inflammation in to the area and will also help to reduce pain involved with the injury. Ice should be applied for 10 minutes 3 times per day for the first 72hrs or following
* Anti-inflammatory medication – will reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the injury and will speed up recovery. Anti-inflammatory medication can be purchased over the counter from your chemist (Neurofen).
* Strapping – helps to rest the injured site without limiting your activity. Strapping is also used to temporarily correct any mechanical abnormality in foot function. If strapping has reduced the
amount of heel pain then an orthotic can be uses as permanent measure.
* Stretching & Strengthening – stretching of the iliotibial band helps to relieve the tension on the iliotibial band, which will reduce the amount of discomfort.
* Orthotics – used when there is a mechanical deformity in the bony structure of the foot (usually rolling in). Orthotics balance the foot which allows it to function more efficiently. This will in turn relieve the amount of force that travels through the iliotibial band.
* Physiotherapy – some cases of iliotibial band friction syndrome require physiotherapy treatment in order to fully recover.
* Surgery – is used when all of the above treatments have failed to relieve the pain. This usually involves a cortisone injection into the ITB, or surgery to release the ITB may be indicated.
Your recovery will depend your individual health. If you are suffering with iliotibial band friction syndrome, it normally takes about 4 to 6 weeks for a healthy individual to recover. This of
course depends on the duration the condition has been untreated for.
If you have any questions or require treatment we have highly qualified Podiatrists and Physiotherapists available for consultation.
Wade Ellis, Podiatrist