RS Podiatry Clinic

ITB Syndrome

AKA: Iliotibial Band Syndrome or ‘runner’s knee’

Symptoms: A sharp pain or ache on the outer (lateral) side of the knee

Contributing factors: Biomechanical factors, running technique, training error, certain muscle weaknesses, running terrain and gradient levels, weak muscles

Treatment Considerations: Assessing/adjusting your training programme, biomechanics and gait, footwear analysis, gait re-training, orthotics, exercises looking at everything from co-ordination to flexibility, taping, strengthening programme, sticking to your treatment plan and more.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a common condition among runners and athletes that causes pain and discomfort on the outside of the knee. This overuse injury occurs when the iliotibial band, a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, becomes irritated and inflamed. While ITBS can be challenging to manage, podiatry treatments, combined with innovative tools like Run3D gait analysis, offer effective solutions for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Understanding ITBS: The iliotibial band connects the hip to the shin and plays a crucial role in stabilizing the knee during movement. When the band becomes irritated due to repetitive activities such as running, cycling, or hiking, it can result in ITBS. Factors contributing to ITBS include sudden increases in training intensity, improper running techniques, muscle imbalances, anatomical issues, and inadequate footwear.

Symptoms of ITBS typically manifest as sharp pain or ache on the outside of the knee, which may worsen during physical activity. Early intervention is important to prevent the condition from progressing and affecting daily activities.

Podiatry Treatments for ITBS: Podiatrists (foot and ankle and lower-limb specialists), are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to provide comprehensive care for ITBS. They employ a variety of treatment strategies to relieve pain, promote healing, and prevent future recurrences. One option offered by podiatrists specialising in biomechanics is  a 3D Biomechanics Analysis using Run3D: Run3D gait analysis is an advanced diagnostic tool that provides detailed information about an individual’s gait pattern. By using state-of-the-art technology, such as 3D motion capture and pressure mapping, Run3D gait analysis offers several benefits in the management of ITBS:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: Run3D gait analysis enables podiatrists to identify abnormal movement patterns, asymmetries, and imbalances that may contribute to ITBS. This helps in developing targeted treatment plans.

  2. Individualised Treatment: With comprehensive gait analysis, podiatrists can create customized treatment programs that address the specific biomechanical issues contributing to ITBS. This tailored approach enhances the effectiveness of treatment and reduces the risk of recurrence.

  3. Injury Prevention: Run3D gait analysis not only helps in treating ITBS but also plays a crucial role in preventing future injuries. By identifying potential risk factors and correcting gait abnormalities, individuals can optimize their running or walking technique, reducing the likelihood of developing ITBS or other related conditions.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome can significantly impact an individual’s ability to engage in physical activities and sports. However, with the help of podiatry treatments and innovative tools like Run3D gait analysis, individuals suffering from ITBS can find effective relief and long-term solutions. Podiatrists are well-equipped to diagnose and treat ITBS, addressing the underlying causes and providing personalised care to optimise recovery and prevent future recurrences. By incorporating these advancements in podiatry, individuals can get back to their active lifestyles with improved biomechanics and reduced risk of injury.