ITB Friction Syndrome Warana

April 6, 2011

The iliotibial band/ tract is a thickening of the fascia that originates at the top of the hip and runs down the outside of the thigh to insert on the outside of the knee. The tensor fasciae latae and gluteus maximus muscles both insert into the ITB.

ITB friction syndrome refers to pain felt on the outside of the knee which may radiate up the outside of the thigh. This condition occurs when there is friction between the ITB and the outside of the thigh bone near the knee. It can present as pain on the outside of the knee and/or the outside of the thigh felt when running, climbing stairs and/or repeated bending and straightening of the knee. There can be a sensation of tightness in the ITB and occasionally associated with a ‘snapping hip’ where the muscles crosses the outside of the hip during running/ walking. The condition can be caused by inappropriate training and/or equipment, abnormal biomechanics, muscle weakness or tightness.

A physiotherapist can asses and tailor an individualised treatment programme to manage the presentation of the ITB friction syndrome and correct predisposing factors. It is also easily treated if diagnosed and treated early before it becomes chronic. Treatment aims to; decrease pain and inflammation, improve muscle flexibility, unload the ITB, correct faulty pelvic mechanics and training errors and to improve strength around the pelvis, hip and knee.