Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a moderate condition caused by overuse of the leg. Patients afflicted by ITBS may experience painful swelling and inflammation in the muscle surrounding the outer part of the knee or thigh.

What You Need To Know About IT Band Syndrome

What is IT Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome—also known as IT band syndrome or ITBS—is a common leg injury characterized by the iliotibial band's overuse. The Illitobal band is a long cluster of connective tissue that stretches from the outside of the hip to the top of the shinbone.

This connective tissue assists in the hip's sideways rotation and provides stability for the upper part of the leg to the knee. As your leg extends and bends, the iliotibial band will rub against the joints of the knee.

Iliotibial band syndrome is linked to repetitive activities involving the knees or a poorly aligned lower body. Runners and cyclists often develop the condition, accounting for 12-24 percent of their injuries. Although ITBS is most commonly found amongst athletes and active adults, some congenital causes may be linked to the condition.

IT Band Syndrome can only be diagnosed by your physician. If you feel like you may be experiencing ITBS symptoms, schedule your appointment with the experts at Resurgens Spine Center today!

What Causes IT Band Syndrome?

IT band syndrome is due to overuse of the knee. The iliotibial band runs from your hip bone to your shinbone, crossing over at your knee. Excessive friction in this area causes your bursas to experience irritation. Bursas are small fluid-filled pads that act as a cushion for your joints.

Common stressors of ITBS include:

  • Not correctly stretching before engaging in athletic activities.

  • Poor training habits or inadequate equipment such as improper footwear

  • Professions that require individuals to frequently squat or stand for long periods.

  • Certain pre-existing medical conditions may increase the likelihood of ITBS, such as arthritis of the knees or bowed legs.

IT Band Syndrome Symptoms

Individuals suffering from iliotibial band syndrome will experience pain around the outside of the knee. Pain may also extend upwards alongside the outward of the thigh spanning to the hip.

IT band symptoms are not always noticed immediately and can develop over time. Runners may experience pain, especially after striking their feet. When untreated, IT band symptoms can persist long after having stopped exercising.

How is IT Band Syndrome Diagnosed?

Only a physician can diagnose ITBS. During your visit with the experts at Resurgens Orthopaedics, your physician will evaluate your medical history. Your physician will also ask you to engage in physical activity. This helps test your range of motion and balance. Be prepared to experience some mild irritation during this portion of your exam.

Your physician may also use imaging technology to get a better sense of your condition. These scans are important because they help your physician analyze any contributing factors and rule out any other related causes of pain.

IT Band Syndrome Treatment

Treatment for IT band syndrome decides on various factors. Mild and non-chronic cases of iliotibial band syndrome can be treated through rest, proper stretching, and over-the-counter medications. Be careful with any medication because there is always the risk of developing a habit. Physical therapy may be necessary to help offset your condition.

More severe cases may require surgical intervention. Minimally-invasive surgery technology makes it possible for you to experience less scarring and a quicker recovery time. Rather than cutting, minimally invasive surgery uses a small incision to insert an arthroscope in the affected area.

At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we are committed to creating an individualized care plan that works for your specific needs. Schedule an appointment with one of our knee experts members now!

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