This is a painful condition from connective tissue rubbing against the bones at the outside edge of the knee. ITB syndrome most commonly the pain stays at the knee level, but it can radiate up the outside of the leg and even to the hip. It is most painful while walking or running.
What is the ITB
ITB stands for the iliotibial band. This connective tissue band is a long tendon connecting the lateral leg muscle, tensor fascia lata in the hip, down to the knee. Other muscles that have some attachment to the iliotibial band are gluteus maximums and gluteus medius. The vastus lateralis, a quad muscle, is located directly under the IT band and can be an influence on pain as well.
Rest, Ice, Elevate, Compress (R.I.C.E.)
This is a great simple to way to help ITB syndrome to start healing. Honestly, it is likely the best short-term advice. Nearly all health care professionals are going to recommend this first because it can work. Its cheap, easy, and not very time intensive. This is our first recommendation as well. The following recommendations are what Cascade Chiropractic and Wellness has found to be effective when the R.I.C.E. treatment has not resolved the issue. In some cases, the injury keeps coming back and R.I.C.E. treatment is not going to be enough. Further care is also recommended when you don’t have a month or two to heal before your next event. Getting evaluated by a chiropractor can find the root of the problem and get fast, lasting results.
Chiropractic adjustments are a very important and successful correction for ITB syndrome. If the lumbar spine, pelvis or hips, knees, ankles or feet are not functioning properly it can be the cause of an abnormality and the pain. Getting restricted joints to move optimally has helped many patients overcome recurring ITB syndrome. The improved joint motion will also help to keep gait in proper form and balance the body.
Massage is another key recovery tool. A good massage therapist can release tight muscles, break up fascia adhesion, and help inflammation to decrease. This work is often a little painful and can cause soreness for a day or two. This is not the kind of massage that is for relaxation, so make sure to communicate well with the therapist. Relaxation massage will not be as effective for this condition.
Another massage related therapy include instrument-assisted soft tissue massage. This is a massage technique that works well for treating fascia and breaking up adhesion specifically. The therapist will use some kind of stone or metal tool to apply pressure to the muscles when using this style of massage. Cupping is another technique to treat fascia and muscles using suction. Special cups are used. Sometimes fire is used to make the suction, other times a little pump will create the suction. It is another way to address the soft tissues involved and encourage faster recovery.
Rehab exercises are a way to strengthen imbalances in the body. It will help to developed muscles, build patterns, and avoid future injuries. The world of exercises is huge. Not all exercises are a perfect fit for each person. The following exercises are a great start for treating ITB syndrome. Lateral leg lifts, clam shells, monster walk and lateral steps with a band, and balance exercise like single leg stand on a cushion. If these exercises make the pain worse, STOP, proper exercise should not make the pain worse. If this happens, see a chiropractor, physical therapist, or your doctor for evaluation. More specific exercises may be needed for the specific case of ITB syndrome.
Laser therapy is another modality that can be used to help with ITB syndrome. It uses the high energy from the laser light to stimulate cells and has great effectiveness in managing pain and increasing healing time. A laser works well when there is any kind of swelling, pain with pressure, or when needing to heal fast for the next event.
At Cascade Chiropractic and Wellness, our doctors are passionate about chiropractic care. The doctors have taken extra training to best understand sports injuries and how best to treat them. They have seen many cases of ITB syndrome and seen the variety of ways it can be caused. Their experience has helped to find the best ways to treat this condition to get back to running, jogging, walking or playing the way our patients love to.