Band Friction Syndrome >
Most cases of ITB friction syndrome do not require
surgery and can heal using a combination of rest, anti-inflammatories,
physical therapy, and stretching and strengthening exercises.
The severity of your symptoms will dictate the course
of action your physician recommends.
Rest is perhaps the most important part of any treatment
program for ITB friction syndrome. If pain is making
it difficult for you to pursue your normal activities,
limiting those activities will help speed your recovery.
Non-steroidal inflammatory medications, such as aspirin
or ibuprofen, can be taken for one or two weeks, or
as long as symptoms persist. Follow the directions on
the bottle for how often to take the medication.
BRACES AND CRUTCHES
Because ITB friction syndrome is a chronic condition,
immobilizing your knee in a brace or cast or using crutches
will not aid in rehabilitation. However, you should
probably try to avoid squatting, or walking or running
up hills or stairs, since these movements place added
stress on your knees.
Physical therapy exercises for ITB
friction syndrome include stretching the ITB as well
as strengthening exercises for all the muscles around
the knee, particularly the quadriceps and hamstring
muscles. Heat applied to the affected area of your knee
can aid in loosening up the muscles and tendons before
you stretch. In addition, icing your knee and elevating
it above heart level while you are resting after exercise
can reduce pain by restricting blood flow to the area.
The affected area should be iced for about 15 minutes,
two or three times a day, to decrease pain and inflammation.
You will most likely have to modify your exercise routine
if you participate in activities that place strain on
the ITB, like running or cycling. When you resume, you
may want to begin slowly and gradually work up to your
normal level. You may be able to exercise with minimal
pain, however. Depending on the severity of your pain,
you can decrease your training program by about 50 percent.
If this does not ease your symptoms, training should
be decreased again by 50 percent. You can also reduce
the intensity of your workout - for example, riding
an exercise bike with less resistance than usual - or
eliminating hills from a running workout. During this
time, you can maintain conditioning by focusing on upper-body
exercises. Other types of activities that will put less
stress on your knee include swimming, water running,
and rollerblading. Depending on the severity of the
irritation, pain from ITB friction syndrome usually
subsides over a period of several weeks. If symptoms
persist, you should consult your doctor about considering
more aggressive measures.
The iliotibial band (ITB) rubs against
the outside of the knee as part of the knee's normal
motion. The goal is to prevent this motion from causing
irritation and pain. Following are some steps you can
take to prevent ITB friction syndrome:
sure to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your
knees, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, and
hip muscles, in addition to the ITB.
up before you exercise, and stretch after you are done.
your physician check to see if your feet turn inward
excessively (over-pronation), and if they do, make sure
to wear running shoes with proper support and cushioning.
you do a lot of cycling, adjust your seat height so
that you are not stretching too far at the bottom of
the down stroke.
you run frequently at a track, alternate direction (clockwise
and counter-clockwise) to avoid excessive ITB strain
on your outside leg.
not suddenly increase your training duration or intensity;
try to progress in small increments.