How to Cure the Syndrome of the Iliotibial Band

To cure the syndrome of the iliotibial band is recommended to use ointments anti-inflammatory, techniques of myofascial release and stretching exercises and muscle strengthening to avoid the imbalances that favour the installation of the friction between the ligament and the bone.

The syndrome of the iliotibial band, also known as the knee of the corridor, is characterized by pain in the lateral knee that is common in long-distance runners, who may be athletes or not, just doing races over 10 km and also in cyclists.

This pain is caused by the friction of a ligament with the femur, near the knee, which ends up generating an inflammation in this location. A common cause is the fact that the person practice race on circular tracks, always in the same direction or descents, which can be even more troubling in people that have the knee turned naturally to the inside of the body.

How to identify

The syndrome of iliotibial band have as a symptom pain in the lateral side of the knee that gets worse when running and when climbing or descending stairs. The pain is more frequent in the knee but it can extend up to the hip, influencing the whole of the side of the thigh.

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The diagnosis can be made by a doctor, physical therapist, or coach and does not require imaging tests such as X-ray, because the lesion does not present any change in bone, but to exclude other hypotheses, the doctor may recommend its realization.

Treatment for the Syndrome of the Iliotibial Band

The first focus to treat the syndrome of the iliotibial band is to combat the inflammation by using topical ointments anti-inflammatory that can be applied to the painful area 2 to 3 times per day with a little massage until the product is fully absorbed by the skin. Place ice packs also help relieve pain and fight inflammation, but these should not be used in direct contact with the skin of the risk of burn and should not be used for more than 15 minutes at a time.

It is also important to perform stretching exercises with all the muscle in the region lateral of the hip and thigh, called the tensor of the fascia lata, but a technique that is very efficient is to make the detachment of the ligament using a massage ball that contains small ‘thorns’, using a roll of rigid foam to rub the area or use the tips of the fingers thumb and forefinger to rub the local sore.

Lie down belly up and use a belt or tape to pass through under the foot and raise the leg up as much as you can until you feel a stretch across the posterior region of the thigh and then tilt the leg to the side, toward the middle of the body, until you feel a stretch throughout the region side of the leg where there is pain. Stay still in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute each time and repeat the exercise at least 3 before and after using the roller.

In this stretch it is important not to remove the hips from the floor, if it seems easier, you can bend a bit the opposite leg to keep the column properly positioned on the floor.

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Myofascial release with a roller:

Lie down on your side on top of the roll that shows the image and slide the roller on the floor, using the weight of the body to which it rub it throughout the region side during 2 to 7 minutes. You can also rub the painful area with a ball of tennis or massage ball on the floor, using the weight of your body.

KT Taping to decrease friction:

Put a tape type, taping in the entire region of the thigh is also a good way to reduce the friction of the tissue with the bone. The tape should be placed 1 finger below the line of the knee and extension of the muscle and tendon iliotibial but to have the expected effect, it must be placed during a stretching of that muscle. For this the person needs to cross the leg and tilt the trunk forward and to the side opposite to the injury, the length of this tape should be about 20 cm. A second tape can be applied to cut in half to engage the belly of the muscle iliotibial, closest to the hip.

How to avoid the pain side of knee

One of the ways to treat this syndrome is to strengthen the hip muscles with exercise because the knee may become more centralized, decreasing the risk of this friction that gives rise to the inflammation and consequently the pain. Pilates exercises can be very useful to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the legs and buttocks, realigning ourselves around the body.

To correct the last in the race is also important bent slightly at the knee while running to cushion the impact with the ground and so it is not recommended to run with the leg always very stretched because it increases the risk of friction of the iliotibial band.

In people that have the knee naturally facing inside or with flat foot also is important to correct these changes by the physiotherapy with the global postural reeducation to decrease the risk of return of this inflammation.

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