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Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Brett Cascio, M.D.

Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Illiotibial Band Syndrome

What is Illiotibial Band Syndrome

The illiotibial band is a thick muscle that travels from the hip to the knee on the outer side of the thigh, serving to stabilize the knee. If this muscle gets inflamed, it can result in a painful condition called illiotibial band syndrome, or ITBS.

What causes Illiotibial Band Syndrome?

When you walk or run, the illiotibial band slides back and forth over the lateral femoral epicondyle, a boney protrusion on the bottom of your thigh bone. This can cause inflammation and irritation over time if the muscle is overused. This condition is often due to poor stretching habits or running on inclined surfaces, but it can be caused by anatomical deformities in the feet or legs.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Pain located on the outer side of the thigh that tends to increase when the muscle is engaged in activity is commonly a symptom of ITBS. The pain is most often felt above the knee, but it can occur anywhere from the hip to just below the knee. If you are displaying these symptoms, your doctor may diagnose this condition.

How is Illiotibial Band Syndrome treated?

Conservative treatment methods are always used first to help treat ITBS. These include use of the RICE method, which uses rest, ice, compression and elevation. Your doctor may also recommend stretching and physical therapy exercises, as well as medication to ease inflammation. If the injury is very severe, surgery may be required.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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