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There isn’t much good iliotibial band syndrome research

PainSci » bibliography » Ellis et al 2007
Tags: IT band pain, running, knee, bad news, leg, limbs, pain problems, overuse injury, injury, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, tendinosis

One article on PainSci cites Ellis 2007: The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome

PainSci notes on Ellis 2007:

This 2007 scientific review paper makes it extremely clear that there is a “paucity in quantity and quality of research” about iliotibial band syndrome. They also conclude that what information exists is not particularly helpful! “There seems limited evidence to suggest that the conservative treatments that have been studied offer any significant benefit in the management of ITBFS.” Yet it is absolutely routine for therapists and doctors, and even so-called experts, to make claims of therapeutic effectiveness! What are they basing that optimism on? The truth is, they simply don’t really know what they are talking about. They can’t — no one does!

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS) is a common injury of the lateral aspect of the knee particularly in runners, cyclists and endurance sports. A number of authors suggest that ITBFS responds well to conservative treatment, however, much of this opinion appears anecdotal and not supported by evidence within the literature. The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the conservative treatment of ITBFS. A search to identify clinical papers referring to the iliotibial band (ITB) and ITBFS was conducted in a number of electronic databases using the keyword: iliotibial. The titles and abstracts of these papers were reviewed to identify papers specifically detailing conservative treatments of ITBFS. The PEDro Scale, a systematic tool used to critique randomized controlled trials (RCTs), was employed to investigate both the therapeutic effect of conservative treatment of ITBFS and also to critique the methodological quality of available RCTs examining the conservative treatment of ITBFS. With respect to the management of ITBFS, four RCTs were identified. The interventions examined included the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), deep friction massage, phonophoresis versus immobilization and corticosteroid injection. This review highlights both the paucity in quantity and quality of research regarding the conservative treatment of ITBFS. There seems limited evidence to suggest that the conservative treatments that have been studied offer any significant benefit in the management of ITBFS. Future research will need to re-examine those conservative therapies, which have already been examined, along with others, and will need to be of sufficient quality to enable accurate clinical judgements to be made regarding their use.

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