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ITB Friction Syndrome

What is ITB Friction Syndrome?

The ITB, or iliotibial band, is a long, thin band of fascia that runs down the outside of your thigh. It attaches at the top of the thigh, and inserts below the knee on the outside of the leg. ITB friction syndrome is also known as runner’s knee as it accounts for 22% of all overuse injuries in runners. This condition occurs when the IT band rubs against the outside of the knee joint causing friction, pain and inflammation. This may occur due to muscular imbalance, fatigue, muscle weakness, poor biomechanics and a sudden increase in training volume.

What are the symptoms of ITB Friction Syndrome?

ITB friction syndrome has a gradual onset of pain. Those suffering with this condition will have pain on the outside of the knee, this usually comes on when running or participating in activity causing you to stop and is eased upon resting. Pain can also be felt when bending and straightening the knee. Swelling may also be observed to the outside of the knee.

How can Mike Varney Physiotherapy treat ITB Friction Syndrome?

Your therapist will take a detailed history of your symptoms and then perform a physical examination. Treatment of ITB friction syndrome includes PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation), deep tissue massage, acupuncture, electrotherapy and Kinesio taping. A home exercise programme of stretching and strengthening exercises may also be prescribed to carry out in between sessions. Your therapist may provide advice regarding activity modification and posture/biomechanics. We normally recommend weekly treatment sessions, which can then be spaced out as the condition improves.

What sports/athletes are most susceptible to ITB Friction Syndrome?

Running, cycling and older athletes.

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