Treatment for Iliotibial Band Syndrome Can Get You Back Up & Running in Lafayette, LA
Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome is an overuse injury that results from repetitive knee bending, which occurs during activities such as walking, running, hiking, and cycling. A thick bundle of fibrous connective tissue, the IT band spans from the outer hip to the top of the shinbone, providing stability to the knee. Normally, a bursa (small cushion filled with lubricating fluid) helps the IT band glide smoothly over the knee joint as the leg bends and straightens. However, if the IT band becomes too tight, friction can develop at the point where it crosses over a bony knee prominence (the lateral epicondyle), leading to pain and swelling around the outside of the knee.
Why Does the IT Band Tighten?
A number of factors can lead to the development of iliotibial band syndrome, including:
- Inadequate warm-up or stretching prior to activity
- Exercising too hard, too long, or too frequently
- Insufficient rest between workout sessions
- Wearing improper or worn-out shoes
- Training on a banked surface
How Is Iliotibial Band Syndrome Treated?
With sufficient rest, IT band syndrome may resolve over the course of several weeks. In the meantime, any associated knee pain and swelling can usually be managed with:
- Activity modifications
- Ice applications
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Many active individuals who develop iliotibial band syndrome also choose to consult with a physician or physical therapist for advice on how to:
- Warm up and cool down properly
- Plan an appropriate training schedule
- Choose suitable footwear
- Stretch and strengthen the IT band and leg muscles
- Maintain proper form while exercising
- Use massage or ultrasound therapy to reduce pain and swelling
In most cases, conservative treatment is sufficient for iliotibial band syndrome. To address severe pain and swelling, corticosteroid or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections may be considered.
Turn to Dr. Vizzi in Lafayette
For a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan, turn to Peter D. Vizzi, MD. Dr. Vizzi is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and avid athlete who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana, providing effective treatments to many active individuals who are temporarily sidelined by iliotibial band syndrome or another knee condition.