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 syndrome (ITBS) is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners. It is an overuse injury that results from repetitive friction of the iliotibial band (ITB) over the lateral femoral epicondyle, with biomechanical studies demonstrating a maximal zone of impingement at approximately 30 degrees of knee flexion. Training factors related to this injury include excessive running in the same direction on a track, greater-than-normal weekly mileage and downhill running. Studies have also demonstrated that weakness or inhibition of the lateral gluteal muscles is a causative factor in this injury. When these muscles do not fire properly throughout the support phase of the running cycle, there is a decreased ability to stabilise the pelvis and eccentrically control femoral abduction. As a result, other muscles must compensate, often leading to excessive soft tissue tightness and myofascial restrictions. Initial treatment should focus on activity modification, therapeutic modalities to decrease local inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and in severe cases, a corticosteroid injection. Stretching exercises can be started once acute inflammation is under control. Identifying and eliminating myofascial restrictions complement the therapy programme and should precede strengthening and muscle re-education. Strengthening exercises should emphasise eccentric muscle contractions, triplanar motions and integrated movement patterns. With this comprehensive treatment approach, most patients will fully recover by 6 weeks. Interestingly, biomechanical studies have shown that faster-paced running is less likely to aggravate ITBS and faster strides are initially recommended over a slower jogging pace. Over time, gradual increases in distance and frequency are permitted. In the rare refractory case, surgery may be required. The most common procedure is releasing or lengthening the posterior aspect of the ITB at the location of peak tension over the lateral femoral condyle.
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Fredericson 2005 as a source:
- Save Yourself from IT Band Syndrome! — All your treatment options for Iliotibial Band Syndrome reviewed in great detail, with clear explanations of recent scientific research supporting every key point
- Does Hip Strengthening Work for IT Band Syndrome? — The popular “weak hips” theory is itself weak
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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