Iliotibial Band Syndrome

25 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is the most common cause of knee pain in runners & multi-sport athletes by some estimates accounting for 12% of all running-related injuries.

ITBS is commonly labelled as an "overuse" injury. However this is really a misnomer, as it is generally not the fact that the knee is being used too much but rather that there are predisposing biomechanical factors causing injury.

Most cases of Iliotibial band syndrome settle well with appropriate Chiropractic care. This requires careful assessment by the Chiropractor to determine which factors have contributed to the development of the condition, with subsequent correction of these factors.

The most important aspect of treating iliotibial band syndrome is a full evaluation of the sacroiliac joints and lumbar spine function.

Any dysfunction here can contribute to weakness of the gluteal muscles due to neurological inhibition. This is often missed in the diagnosis of ITB syndrome and therefore you often find rehabilitation and soft tissue treatment efforts are ineffective leading to recurring problems. It is also important to assess the feet for any joint dysfunction. Orthotics can be prescribed if pronation of the foot is present.

Chiropractic adjustments/manipulations are performed to help restore normal biomechanics to the feet, ankles, hips and knee joint. It is important to manipulate and stretch capsular joint restrictions during the treatment phase. This helps improve normal motion and promotes proper biomechanics as well as keeping the joint lubricated.

Stretching and strengthening exercises may be used in combination with a knee brace, kneecap taping, or shoe inserts to improve muscle balance and joint alignment of the hip and lower limb. Strengthening and stretching exercises are also chosen to correct muscle imbalances, such as weakness in the gluteus medius muscle or tightness in the iliotibial band.

Soft tissue techniques used by Chiropractors may include:

  • Stretching of the Iliotibial band
  • Soft tissue or deep friction massage 
  • Myofascial release techniques 
  • Dry-needling techniques 
  • Electrotherapeutic techniques such as laser, ultrasound and interferential treatment

It is also important to have a rehabilitation strategy in the long term even when symptoms have lessened. A key element of treatment is the athlete’s training schedule. Chiropractors can work with the athlete to adjust the distance they run, their footwear, and the running surfaces they choose.

Most cases of ITB syndrome respond very well to Chiropractic treatment and usually require only 4-6 weeks of care.

Immediate, appropriate treatment in patients with Iliotibial band syndrome is essential to ensure a speedy recovery. Once the condition is chronic, healing slows significantly resulting in markedly increased recovery times.  Contact us so that we can assist you in getting the best treatment results possible.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome