ITB pain is a common condition experienced by many athletes and active individuals. The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the hip to the knee. ITB pain typically presents as a sharp pain or aching sensation on the outside of the knee, and it can be caused by a variety of factors.
Causes of ITB Pain:
The primary cause of ITB pain is training error, commonly seen in running however can also happen in cycling and jumping sports. Other factors that can contribute to ITB pain include:
- Weakness of the muscles surrounding the hip and knee, such as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
- Running biomechanics.
- Worn-out or inappropriate footwear.
- Increase in training intensity, duration, or frequency too quickly
Symptoms of ITB Pain:
The symptoms of ITB pain can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include:
- Sharp or burning pain on the outside of the knee.
- Tenderness along the ITB.
- Pain during or after exercise, especially during activities that involve bending the knee, such as running, cycling, or squatting.
- Weakness or a feeling of instability in the knee.
Treatment of ITB Pain:
The treatment of ITB pain typically involves a combination of load management, strengthening exercises, and other symptom modification strategies. Here are some of the most effective treatment options for ITB pain:
- Load management: we are often able to keep you running, depending on your level of irritability. We may have to review your training program to keep the load more management
- Strengthening exercises: Strengthening exercises can help improve the strength of the hip and knee, which can reduce the risk of future ITB pain. Exercises that target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings are particularly beneficial.
- Footwear and biomechanical assessment: Appropriate footwear and assessment of any underlying biomechanical issues may help in the management of ITB pain.
- Symptom modification strategies: manual therapy, massage, and other modalities to help reduce pain.
- In severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
ITB pain is a common condition that can affect anyone who engages in repetitive activities such as running, cycling, or jumping. Fortunately, with load management, strengthening exercises, and other modalities, ITB pain can be successfully treated. If you are experiencing ITB pain, it is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.