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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

What is iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)?

The iliotibial band is a band of strong tissue that runs from the outer side of the pelvis, across the hip, down the outside of the thigh and attaches to the outer part of the knee. The iliotibial band is plays a very important role in stabilising the knee during running. ITBS is one of the most common causes of pain on the outside of the knee in runners. Running causes the band to rub over bony points in the outside of the leg and can cause inflammation and, therefore, pain.

What are the causes of iliotibial band syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury. Therefore, factors such as an increased mileage and a different running surface can bring on the condition. Foot problems are a major cause of iliotibial band syndrome. These foot problems such as 'flat feet', high or low arches, leg length differences and bowlegs can all be treated by the podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry. Muscle weakness may also be a factor that leads to a person suffering with the condition.

What should I do if I have iliotibial band syndrome?

An assessment is required as soon as possible. This assessment should be with Manchester Podiatry if you believe your problem to be with your foot posture. If you believe that you foot posture is normal you should arrange an appointment with Manchester Physio. The physiotherapists at Manchester Physio will assess your foot posture in your initial physiotherapy assessment and advise you on whether you require a podiatry treatment. Likewise, your podiatrist can refer you to Manchester Physio if your problems are not purely related to the posture of your feet.

What shouldn't I do if I have iliotibial band syndrome?

If you have iliotibial band syndrome you should not run through the pain as it is very unlikely that it will resolve without treatment, especially if you continue to perform your normal activities. Continuing the aggravating activities will only prolong your recovery.

Podiatry treatment for iliotibial band syndrome

'Flat,' or pronated, feet cause an increase in strain over the iliotibial band. This often is not a problem until the mileage or training intensity is increased. Following an initial assessment and gait analysis, custom made orthotics (shoe inserts) can be provided by the podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry. These orthotics are designed to support your arch and help prevent the foot from collapsing inwards (pronating) and, therefore, reduce the strain on the iliotibial band. Advice can also be provided on the modification of your current running regime in terms of footwear, distance, mileage and running surface.