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Iliotibial Band Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

Iliotibial band syndrome is inflammation and pain on the outer side of the knee. The iliotibial band is a layer of connective tissue. It begins at a muscle near the outer side of your hip, travels down the outer side of your thigh, crosses the outer side of the knee, and attaches to the bone (femur) near the knee, causing the outer side of your upper shin bone (tibia).


DISCUSSION Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when this band repeatedly rubs over the bump of the thigh band to be irritated. This most often occurs in running. This condition can result from: having a tight iliotibial band, having tight muscles in your hip, pelvis, or leg, your legs not being the same length, running on sloped surfaces, or running in shoes with a lot of wear on the outside of the heel.

The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your sport or activity as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury, which could lead to permanent damage. Everyone recovers from injury at a different rate. Return to your sport or activity will be determined by how soon your knee recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury occurred. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to get better.

TREATMENT Treatment time can be expected at 4-6 weeks. The first 2-3 weeks is the acute phase and is concerned with reducing pain, inflammation and encouraging soft tissue healing. The post-acute phase is the remaining 2-3 weeks where the goal is to correct any muscle imbalances and tracking problems that might be an aggravating factor in the condition. Treatment consists of a variety of modalities that address the many aspects of ITB syndrome. These include: soft tissue therapy with the G-5 percussive unit, Electro-therapies such as High volt galvinism and IFC to increase tissue healing and reduce spasm of the involved tissues, and manual soft tissue techniques designed to reduce the tightness of the ITB. Moist heat can also provide a reduction in spasm of the ITB. Adjusting of the knee and hip joint can help address any mis-alignment and tracking problems with the ITB complex.

LIFE STYLE CHANGES: Until your condition subsides it may be necessary to change your sport or activity to one that does not make your condition worse. For example, you may need to bicycle instead of run.

SUPPLEMENTATION: Bromelain: This supplement has proven effective in reduction of inflammation. Bromelain is a digestive enzyme derived from pineapple husk. It has few side affects and will also improve your digestion.

HOME REMEDIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Place an ice pack over your iliotibial band for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 or 4 hours for 2 to 3 days or until the pain goes away. You can also do ice massage. Massage your knee with ice by freezing water in a Styrofoam cup. Peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice and hold onto the bottom of the cup while you rub ice over your knee for 5 to 10 minutes.

Take an anti-inflammatory medication, according to your health care provider's prescription.

Do the stretching exercises recommended Exercises should be specific and in a particular order and performed only under direct supervision of the doctor during the first 3 weeks and then by prescription only. Improper exercise can prolong or arrest recovery.

Follow our wellness recomendations for absolute health.

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