Illiotibial band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) is a stubborn injury that is often one that people do not understand well. Common ‘do it yourself’ treatments for this injury include icing the outside of the knee, foam rolling the thigh, and stretching the ITB from the hip.
After complete rest for several weeks, many people return to play and report the exact same symptoms they were experiencing before their frustrating stint on the sidelines. This is because they have often been treating just the inflammation and muscle tightness, without resolving the underlying cause of the injury.
So, what is the underlying cause of the injury?
ITBFS is identified by pain at the point at which the ITB attaches to the outside of the knee due to friction with the bone. Your physiotherapist can determine the reason for this, but it is often caused by abnormal biomechanics, or movement patterns of the pelvis, hip and thigh. A common way to address this issue and return to the playing field faster, is to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the hip. Attached here are a few simple exercises to implement into your do-it-yourself regime.
As always however, if pain persists or worsens, you should see your physiotherapist or health practitioner.