I am Parnashree from Miami Physiotherapy and today I am going to talk about iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome or lateral knee pain and how stretching it can make the pain worse.
Let’s first talk about the ITB. It is a strong, resilient structure which starts from your glutes, runs across the outside of the thigh and attaches to a lot of structures around the knee. There are many reasons for lateral knee pain or pain on the outside of the knee joint.
To find out the exact cause of pain, you should book an appointment with one of our physios for a detailed knee assessment.
One of the causes of lateral knee pain can be the iliotibial band. With sudden increase in load such as increased physical activity or running, the band can push on the fat underneath it and can make the area sore, it’s like pressing on a bad bruise.
You might have been told to foam roll or stretch your ITB. But in fact, the band cannot be stretched. It is a strong fibrous structure which provides a lot of stability. Stretching can actually make things worse. Keep watching to learn what you should do instead.
Treatment for this problem is very individualised, but generally reducing load will help to settle the sensitivity coming from the ITB and then we need to gradually return to physical activity/running. Gluteal strengthening is very important especially because the band has connections to the glute muscle. Anti-inflammatories also help in the acute/painful stage.
Visit us at Lakelands or Miami Physiotherapy for a thorough assessment so that we can help to reduce your pain and give you specific individualised exercises depending on your goal.
And remember do not stretch the ITB!