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Illiotibial band syndrome


Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a painful condition that affects the outside of the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome is the result of friction, which produces inflammation and pain at the site where the iliotibial band attaches to the outside of the knee.

Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain in those who participate in sports that require lots of extension and flexion of the knee, for example, running and cycling.

What is iliotibial band syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is a condition characterised by inflammation of the Iliotibial band. Iliotibial band syndrome is also referred to as iliotibial band friction syndrome and runners knee, all of which describe the same condition; inflammation of the Iliotibial band caused by excessive friction.

The iliotibial band is a large, strong, fibrous band of tissue that passes down the outside of the thigh. The Iliotibial band attaches at the iliac crest (the hip bone) and also at the outside of the tibia, just beneath the knee joint. The iliotibial band is responsible for the following:

  • Abduction (moving sideways) of the hip
  • Extension (straightening) of the knee
  • It coordinates with the thigh muscles to stabilise the knee joint

Friction can cause the Iliotibial band to become irritated and inflamed at the point where it passes over the lateral epicondyle of the femur (the bony part of the thigh bone on the outside of the knee). The friction occurs as a result of repetitive extension and flexion of the knee, which irritates the Iliotibial band and leads to inflammation and pain.

What causes Iliotibial band syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury. An overuse injury is an injury that has been caused by repetitive use. Repetitive extension and flexion of the knee (as a result of, for example, running and cycling) can result in excessive friction, which irritates the iliotibial band and causes inflammation near its attachment at the knee.

Other causes of iliotibial band syndrome include:

  • Poor biomechanics:
    • Over pronation
    • Leg length difference
    • Lateral pelvic tilt
    • Bowed legs (tibial varum)
    • Tight muscles (thigh and buttocks)
  • Increasing the intensity of training too quickly

If you think you may have iliotibial band syndrome visit Chiropody.co.uk for an assessment.

What are the signs and symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome?

If you have iliotibial band syndrome you will experience pain on the outside of the knee. The pain is worse when walking up and down stairs and is often accompanied by inflammation and swelling.

How is iliotibial band syndrome diagnosed?

A podiatrist at Chiropody.co.uk will make a diagnosis of iliotibial band syndrome based on the signs and symptoms and a detailed history. Your podiatrist will then confirm the diagnosis by performing a test that is diagnostic for iliotibial band syndrome.

Benefits of podiatry for iliotibial band syndrome

If you have iliotibial band syndrome you can expect to achieve the following benefits after assessment and treatment at Chiropody.co.uk:

  • Decrease in pain
  • Decrease in inflammation
  • Decrease in tightness
  • Increase in lower limb function
  • Improved gait
  • Reduced risk of further injury

What would podiatry for iliotibial band syndrome involve?

Podiatry for iliotibial band syndrome would consist of the following:

  • A detailed history
  • Signs and symptoms
  • An examination
  • Diagnostic test

If a diagnosis of iliotibial band syndrome is made, the first step in treatment is to reduce any inflammation, which may be achieved with the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory advice
  • Rest

Once the inflammation has been treated the underlying cause of the iliotibial band syndrome can be addressed. The following treatments may be recommended:

Summary

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is an overuse injury that presents as pain on the outside of the knee. Other names for iliotibial band syndrome include; runner's knee and iliotibial band friction syndrome. Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain in runners and cyclists. Iliotibial band syndrome is caused by excessive friction.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email office@chiropody.co.uk or call 0330 088 4222.

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