The iliotibial band is a band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. It arises from the hip and runs down to insert on the outside of the tibia just below the knee joint. This band adds to the stability of the outside of the knee.
ITB syndrome occurs when this band is irritated as it runs over the lateral epicondyle (outside of the end of the femur). At the lateral epicondyle, the ITB runs over bone and muscle and a bursa (cushion) ensures easy gliding over this area. However, due to numerous causes listed below, this bursa can become inflamed leading to pain with movement. This is essentially a friction syndrome and due to overuse (training too much or increasing intensity too soon). It is extremely common in runners.
Applying an ice pack for 15-20 min 4 times a day can help to relieve pain and settle the inflammation
Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as celebrex, arcoxia will help reduce the inflammation
Specifically paying attention to stretching exercises of the ITB and myofascial releases via massages will help to release the ITB especially when tight. Core stability exercises are also of great importance
Eccentric exercises not only help to stretch out the ITB but also condition it and the rest of the leg muscles to become a controlling force and absorb the forces put through it
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May be indicated and help when the above does not help. Helps relieve the inflammation
See section on PRP in Biological healing. Stimulates healing of the inflamed bursa and tendon by injecting growth factors around the area.
In very rare circumstances, surgery may be needed when all the above options have failed. The surgery undertaken is to make a small cut in the ITB which not only releases the ITB but also the friction on the bursa.