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Iliotibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome

What is ITB friction syndrome?


This is an overuse condition presenting as pain on the outside of the knee that is usually aggravated by sporting activity. It is commonly seen in runners, cyclists, and endurance athletes.

The ITB is a band on the outside of the thigh can cause friction over the femoral condyle and contribute to local inflammation and irritation of a fat pad that lies behind it. The band joins onto the Tensor Fascia Lata and Gluteus Maximum mauscles at the hip.

What are the signs/symptoms?


  • Pain/ache over the outside of the knee
  • Aggravated by running or cycling
  • Tenderness over the lateral femoral epicondyle
  • Pain with repeated knee flexion and extension

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome

What can cause ITB friction?


A number of different factors can lead to the development of ITB friction. Assessment is vital to see what is causing your pain. These include:

  • Poor running mechanics
  • Weakness around the proximal hip muscles
  • Poor foot mechanics
  • Tightness of muscles in the hip and knee

What does treatment involve?


Assessment with one of our Physiotherapists is vital for successful treatment of this condition in order to find the exact cause of the problem.

Local treatment may include ice, massage, trigger points or dry needling. However although the pathology is felt at the knee, treatment should be focussed particularly around the hip musculature and biomechanics, and sometime around the foot. This will include stretching techniques and strengthening specific muscle groups to reduce the compression of the ITB at the level of the knee.

Want specific advice for your individual situation? Make an appointment today on (07) 3846 4800.

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