ITB Friction Syndrome is Just an Illusion

knee pain

Many runners and/or cyclists have met this condition.

During the exercise or after the exercise,

you feel painful over you femoral epicondyle.

Sometimes it's even burning or stabbing.

And you feel more pain especially the heel-strike phase.

Back home, you google it.

Then you get a fancy word "ITB friction syndrome"

ITB friction

When the knee is moving,

Your tight ITB moves anterior and posterior over your femoral epicondyle that causes the pain.

The treatment is releasing your ITB.

Suddenly, everyone gets the foam roller and roll their ITB badly.

You feel pain, you feel relieved.

But, it seems not working well, even makes the symptom worse.

The evidence shows that treatment based on the friction theory does not give the satisfied result.

The functional anatomy of the iliotibial band during flexion and extension of the knee:implications for understanding iliotibial band syndrome

The functional anatomy of the iliotibial band during flexion and extension of the knee:implications for understanding iliotibial band syndrome

Then what's really happened on the ITB.

The anatomy and MR researches show that your ITB WON'T move forward and backward.

The study suggests that an illusion of movement is due to the tension change of it's anterior and posterior part.

Moreover, there's a fibrous strand connects between ITB and femoral epicondyle and fanned out to the femur bone that secures your ITB over you femur.

ITB structure.jpeg

The area between ITB and lateral femur is filled with highly vascularized and innervated fat pad.

The inflammation of this structure might be the true origin of the pain.

In this case, roll more, pain more.

It's actually a "Compression" issue, not "Friction" issue.

As I mentioned earlier about the concept of stretch in the previous article,

your ITB is made a scapegoat again.

Remember, DONT release the tight tissue without thinking about it.

If you get the acute ITBS

Resting and decreasing inflammation are the most important things to do.

After the acute stage,

find a movement specialist to help you.

The problem might come from your butt.

The problem might come from your bicep femoris.

The problem might come from the instable hip joint.

The problem might come from the improper movement of the foot.

Find the true origin, correct it and back to your field.

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This article is produced by Dr. I-Chen Liu, PT, MS,DPT, OCS
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.