IIiotibial Band Syndrome Treatment Bentonville AR
Bella Vista, AR
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
A Patient's Guide to Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is an overuse problem that is often seen in bicyclists, runners, and long-distance walkers. It causes pain on the outside of the knee just above the joint. It rarely gets so bad that it requires surgery, but it can be very bothersome. The discomfort may keep athletes and other active people from participating in the activities they enjoy.
This guide will help you understand
What is the ITB, and what does it do?
The ITB is actually a long tendon. (Tendons connect muscles to bone.) It attaches to a short muscle at the top of the pelvis called the tensor fascia lata. The ITB runs down the side of the thigh and connects to the outside edge of the tibia (shinbone) just below the middle of the knee joint. You can feel the tendon on the outside of your thigh when you tighten your leg muscles. The ITB crosses over the side of the knee joint, giving added stability to the knee.
The lower end of the ITB passes over the outer edge of the lateral femoral condyle, the area where the lower part of the femur (thighbone) bulges out above the knee joint. When the knee is bent and straightened, the tendon glides across the edge of the femoral condyle.
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions body tissues from friction. These sacs are present where muscles or tendons glide against one another. A bursa rests between the femoral condyle and the ITB. Normally, this bursa lets the tendon glide smoothly back and forth over the edge of the femoral condyle as the knee bends and straightens.
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Knee Anatomy
How does ITB syndrome develop?
The ITB glides back and forth over the lateral femoral condyle as the knee bends and straightens. Normally, this isn't a problem. But the bursa between the lateral femoral condyle and the ITB can become irritated and inflamed if the ITB starts to snap over the condyle with repeated knee motions such as those from walking, running, or biking.
People often end up with ITB syndrome from overdoing their activity. They try to push themselves too far, too fast, and they end up running, walking, or biking more than their body can handle. The repeated strain causes the bursa on the side of the knee to become inflamed.
Some experts believe that the problem happens when the knee bows outward. This can happen in runners if their shoes are worn on the outside edge, or if they run on slanted terrain. Others feel that certain foot abnormalities, such as foot pronation, cause ITB syndrome. (Pronation of the foot occurs when the arch flattens.)
Recently, health experts have found that runners with a weakened or fatigued gluteus medius muscle in the hip are more likely to end up with ITB syndrome. This muscle controls outward movement...