Iliotibial Band Syndrome is also referred to as Runner’s Knee or Jumper’s Knee. It commonly occurs in teenage athletes running cross country, runner’s just starting out, and even to those seasoned marathons preparing for their 30th marathon. Often caused by improper footwear, muscle weakness or acute injury, physical therapy has been demonstrated to help significantly with this injury.
Symptoms of ITB syndrome and patellofemoral pain include pain on the lateral portion of the knee, occasionally with referred pain just below the kneecap. Sometimes you may notice the knee moving (knee valgus) inwards when running or jumping, or when the muscles are very fatigued. With jumping sports, pain underneath the kneecap may cause a generalized soreness and achiness surrounding the entire knee.
The ITB, or iliotibial band, is a sheath of fibrous tissue that originates from two hip muscles and the bone known as the iliac crest and travels down to the tibia, or lower leg bone. The ITB is mainly responsible for stabilizing the outer part of the knee. ITB syndrome stems from tightness of the band, overuse with weight bearing exercises (such as running), and muscular weakness, particularly of the hip muscles.
At Specialized Physical Therapy, we will conduct a thorough medical history review focused on your specific symptoms to determine the cause of your symptoms. A physical therapist is trained to identify signs and symptoms consistent with ITB syndrome and patellofemoral pain. Your physical therapist will also analyze your past medical history, activity level, shoe wear, and standing posture to identify the specific cause of the pain, which aids in creating a treatment protocol.
Treatment and Exercises
After a thorough initial evaluation, your therapist will create an individualized physical therapy program to diminish your symptoms as quickly as possible. The program will include stretches, massage, mobilizations, and strengthening exercises specific to what you want to return to doing, from walking to playing basketball. The goal of our treatment will be to first identify why the pain started, to reduce swelling and pain, to regain mobility, and to return you to your prior level of function.
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