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What Is The Best Treatment For ITB Friction Syndrome?

Simple Steps To A Successful Recovery

Rest and stretching will not cure ITB Friction Syndrome…neither will focussing on the knee alone.

Pain at the side of the knee, pain when running and pain after running are all classic characteristics and can easily stop you in your tracks. Diagnosing ITB Friction Syndrome is the easy part. The key question is ‘how do we treat it?’

Treatment For ITB Friction Syndrome

Step 1 | Run Lab

Working out not just ‘what’…but ‘why?’

Run Lab

In order to truly cure a problem we need to solve why that problem occurred in the first place. Get to the root cause of why? As most running injuries gradually accumulate over time.

Our previous Runner’s Hub blogs highlighted the 3 key elements that make up an injury-free, skilled runner. These aren’t complicated or too technical. Just simple golden points for runners to follow. Our Run Lab assessment is aimed at all levels of runners and helps to guide you back throughout your treatment for ITB Friction Syndrome.

Research has proven that technique faults such as a slow step rate or poor hip control can contribute to overloading of the lower limb thus increasing the risk for common running injuries such as ITB Friction. As a result, it is key that your treatment for ITB Friction Syndrome looks at your running style, your strength & control, and your weekly regime to pick out the weak links.

Step 2 | Loosen The Stiff Bits

Research has shown that tightness in structures such as the Quadriceps muscles and the Iliotbial band (ITB) occur as part of ITB Friction Syndrome symptoms and certainly contribute to making the condition worse. It is the increased pressure on the outside of the knee that creates the stiff, achy feeling associated with ITB Friction. Therefore it is essential that part of your treatment for ITB Friction Syndrome involves hands-on therapy and regular mobility work to gain some relief. Get you moving well, with less pain.

Runner's Knee Treatment
Hands on therapy to relieve pain
Runner's knee treatment
Foam Roller exercises to improve mobility

Step 3 | Stabilise The Bendy Bits

This step is the key to getting you back running…and staying injury free. Rest alone will not cure ITB Friction Syndrome as you’re changing nothing about what potentially caused the problem in the first place. Most research on why ITB Friction occurs has shown that poor control in areas away from the knee itself are very common. For example poor strength in the lateral hip muscles and poor control with single leg balance exercises can increase the risk of developing symptoms Knee.

Runner's knee treatment

As a result a big part of your treatment for ITB Friction Syndrome must include strength & control exercises to improve stability. Taping for knee pain when running can also help to improve stability in the short term.

Step 4 | Build Back Up…Gradually!

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Runners, being runners, just want to run. As we know ITB Friction Syndrome typically accumulates over months and therefore can take months to recover. However, completely resting and then returning to running will not solve the problem for most runners. In most cases you don’t have to stop running completely…but be guided as to how much to do and when.

Research shows us that it is essential your return to running is progressively tailored to you. It allows for a successful return without flaring things up. As part of your treatment for ITB Friction Syndrome there are simple, functional tests that we can use. It establishes if your safe to start running again without causing further problems. We will also workout your running threshold i.e. the amount you can do comfortably without causing pain, then gradually increase this dependent upon time, distance, speed, terrain or just personal goals you want to achieve.

Next weeks blog looks at What Are The Best ITB Friction Syndrome Exercises?

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