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Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is a common cause of pain on the outside of the knee. This knee pain occurs frequently in runners. The ITB is an extension of the tensor fascia lata muscle of the hip and it runs along the outside of the thigh and ends just below the knee. During running, especially downhill running, compression can occur between the ITB and the underlying thigh bone. This can lead to pain on the outside of the knee. If you are running the same route or track you may find that this knee pain comes on around the same time or distance on each run. A sudden increase in training can often lead to the development of ITB syndrome.
Research shows that weakness in the gluteal muscles of the hip is common in this injury. If these muscles are not working correctly this can mean increased pressure and load on the iliotibial band. Correct rehabilitation of these muscles is so important to ensure your speedy return to sport and a reduction in your knee pain. Our Chartered Physiotherapists can assess the function of these muscles and prescribe exercises to help ensure the correct use of muscles.
Poor biomechanics can also contribute to the development of ITB syndrome. ITB syndrome can be associated with either a high arch or fallen arches. If you have symptoms of ITB you may benefit from assessment to see if orthotics would be suitable for you.
Trigger points or tight areas of muscle are often found in the gluteal muscles, the tensor fascia lata and the quadriceps muscle at the front of the thigh. These muscles may benefit from trigger point dry needling or self massage using a foam roller. At our Ballsbridge clinic, two of our physiotherapists Aileen Maguire and Sarah Brady are certified dry needling practitioners.
As you can see, many factors contribute to the development of ITB syndrome. At Ballsbridge Physiotherapy we can asses these factors and provide treatment as appropriate. Contact us for further information or to arrange an appointment.