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ITB Syndrome

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:02pm 2 Comments

I’ve had a few patients recently who have come in to me with knee pain.  It may have something to do with treating runners from the Wasatch Back Ragnar relay.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS).  A syndrome is a group of symptoms that do not have a single cause, but together indicate a particular disorder.  That means that ITB is not a specific diagnosis, of a single torn ligament or something.  So treatment will vary from person to person.  You will have to find out what works for you.

ANATOMY.  The Iliotibial band is a band of tissue that connects the crest of your hip to the tibia (bottom bone of the knee joint).  That includes muscles and tendons.  In that regard the IT band attaches to or touches to the whole lateral side of your thigh and knee, top and bottom.  The main muscle is the Tensor Fascia Lata which serves to lift your leg sideways or laterally.  That’s not a motion that you do all the time, but it is very important in stabilizing all of your other leg motions.  When you bend your knee this band rubs over bone at the outside of the knee.

SYMPTOMS from ITBS can occur above the knee or below, or up the outside of the thigh.  You get inflammation above the knee from the ITB rubbing over that bone, or below the knee at the attachment to the tibia if it tries to pull away at that point, or up the thigh if you tear at that point.  Running on sloped tracks or roads or with bad shoes or changing shoes, or increasing workout intensity can all contribute to ITBS.

INITIAL TREATMENT takes patience.  Basically you need time without a flare up to heal.  That means resting it, no real running for about a month, lots of ice.  You can stretch, tape, massage, get chiropractic adjustments, and do all sorts of other things to help, but basically you’re body has to heal.  During this time you’ll want to keep moving and stretching to maintain your range of motion and flexibility, but don’t aggravate it.  After the month off you will have to start slow running 5-10 min a day then increasing your time slowly over weeks, not days.

CONTINUED TREATMENT is the real key.  You’ve discovered that your ITB is weak and tight.  You need to strengthen it and get a proper balance of muscle tone and flexibility.  Otherwise you will re-injure.  There are too many ways to achieve this to list here, but see your chiropractor for some ideas for you.

I’ve had a few patients recently who have come in to me with knee pain.  It may have something to do with treating runners from the Wasatch Back Ragnar relay.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS).  A syndrome is a group of symptoms that do not have a single cause, but together indicate a particular disorder.  That means that ITB is not a specific diagnosis, of a single torn ligament or something.  So treatment will vary from person to person.  You will have to find out what works for you.

ANATOMY.  The Iliotibial band is a band of tissue that connects the crest of your hip to the tibia (bottom bone of the knee joint).  That includes muscles and tendons.  In that regard the IT band attaches to or touches to the whole lateral side of your thigh and knee, top and bottom.  The main muscle is the Tensor Fascia Lata which serves to lift your leg sideways or laterally.  That’s not a motion that you do all the time, but it is very important in stabilizing all of your other leg motions.  When you bend your knee this band rubs over bone at the outside of the knee.

SYMPTOMS from ITBS can occur above the knee or below, or up the outside of the thigh.  You get inflammation above the knee from the ITB rubbing over that bone, or below the knee at the attachment to the tibia if it tries to pull away at that point, or up the thigh if you tear at that point.  Running on sloped tracks or roads or with bad shoes or changing shoes, or increasing workout intensity can all contribute to ITBS.

INITIAL TREATMENT takes patience.  Basically you need time without a flare up to heal.  That means resting it, no real running for about a month, lots of ice.  You can stretch, tape, massage, get chiropractic adjustments, and do all sorts of other things to help, but basically you’re body has to heal.  During this time you’ll want to keep moving and stretching to maintain your range of motion and flexibility, but don’t aggravate it.  After the month off you will have to start slow running 5-10 min a day then increasing your time slowly over weeks, not days.

CONTINUED TREATMENT is the real key.  You’ve discovered that your ITB is weak and tight.  You need to strengthen it and get a proper balance of muscle tone and flexibility.  Otherwise you will re-injure.  There are too many ways to achieve this to list here, but see your chiropractor for some ideas for you.

Comments (2)
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I have been diagnosed with a chronic ITB Syndrome.  I have gone to physical therapy sessions, only to directly leave from there to go to work. I done heat treatments, stretching exercises and pool therapy.   The band syndrome started out in my right leg and then soon after I got diagnosed with it in my left leg.  I was a single parent working as a waitress.  Medical professionals have contributed the cause of my ITB Syndrome to the way my legs angle inward  from my pelvis down to my knees and the type of job I had as a waitress.  The Orthopedic Specialist says there is no surgery performed to correct this and that he has no further suggestions for me.  I have lived with this chronic pain for over 2 yrs now and have become very limited with my mobility.  I believe in miracles and pray for one everyday. Some people take walking for granted but I take walking one painful step at a time.

I am sad to hear of your difficulties.  There are many things that you can do to assist your body in the healing process but ultimately your body just needs to be able to heal and that means rest.  It is something that not many of us alive can do.  We can't take a month off from walking, or working.  

All the added therapies that can help you to heal faster can also be costly. I have worked out financial difficulties in the past with patients, but many of the treatments for this condition can be done at home such as the ice, stretching or massage.  Cold Laser Therapy, or therapeutic ultrasound can also help, but they would need to be done in a clinic.  

If your orthopedist has given up, find someone else as encouragement and hopeful help are often just as important to your healing as the proper treatment.

I can recommend you try different treatments all day, but really patience is the important thing in this case.  Good luck in your health.

 

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