Have you been noticing pain on the outside of your knee, hip, or thigh without a known injury?
If your answer is Yes, then you may be experiencing symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band Syndrome) presents as pain along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee.
It is a common overuse knee injury often affecting runners and sometimes cyclists. Pain is felt on the outside part of the knee when bending, and sometimes it causes referred hip pain .It is assessed by a physiotherapist in order to rule out any serious pathologies, such as infection or any systemic illness. This is when the physiotherapist will ask you about your previous medical history, any recent changes and about the nature of your pain.
What Is The Iliotibial Band (ITB)?
The ITB is a thick band of fascia (tissue) that runs along the outside of the thigh. It travels from hip down to your knee and is an important structure of our knees in their range of motion, as the joint flexes and extends.
What Causes ITBS?
There are two possible theories behind how ITBS develops. One is that there is friction between the ITB and the femoral condyle causing irritation and inflammation. The other theory is that a bursa underneath the ITB becomes irritated and inflamed.
But what causes this to happen? Some common causes are:
- Long distance running
- Running on roads or other surfaces that slope
- A sudden increase in activity levels
- Weak hip abductor muscles
Symptoms Of ITBS
- Sharp or burning pain on the outside of the knee, sometimes radiating into the thigh or calf.
- Pain gets worse with running or coming down stairs.
- May be audible snapping sensation when bending the knee.
- May be swelling on outside aspect of knee.
- Activity Modification – decrease the intensity of the aggravating activity. Try other non-aggravating physical activities, such as swimming.
- Ice – for pain relief and to decrease swelling.
- Foam Rolling/ muscle groups such as hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
- Exercises to strengthen the hip abductor muscles (demonstrated in video):
- Hip hikes
- Side lying hip abduction
- Single leg step down
- Single leg wall squats
- Single leg hip hinge
By Dr. Vaishali Dwivedi ( P.T )
State Executive Board
Global Association for Physiotherapy-G.A.P.T