Last Updated: 2013-04-22
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners, related to repetitive friction of the iliotibial band (ITB) sliding over the lateral femoral epicondyle.
Runners predisposed to this injury are typically in a phase of overtraining and often have underlying weakness of the hip abductor muscle.
In the acute phase, treatment includes activity modification, ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and corticosteroid injection in cases of severe pain or swelling.
During the subacute phase, emphasis is on stretching of the ITB and soft-tissue therapy for any myofascial restrictions.
The recovery phase focuses on a series of exercises to improve hip abductor strength and integrated movement patterns. The final return to running phase is begun with an every-other-day program, starting with easy sprints and avoidance of hill training with a gradual increase in frequency and intensity.
Surgery can be considered in refractory cases.
Impingement zone occurring at around 30° of knee flexion
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