Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Therapeutic Ultrasound
The Iliotibial band is a fibrous tendinous band that runs from the pelvis to the side of the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) is a condition that mainly affects long distance runners. Pain with this condition is felt on the outside of the knee, where the ITB inserts, and is usually felt during downhill running and during the swing phase of gait. A person with this condition may even say they hear of feel a repetitive snapping sound.
Some of the most common causes for this condition are as follows:
- Over training
- Over pronation: turning the foot inward more than normal, this increases internal rotation in the knee
- Under pronation: turning the foot outward more than normal
- Poor shock absorption or worn out shoes
- Running on uneven surfaces
- Anatomical differences: short leg on one side, misaligned pelvis, hip angle
Since ITB is an overuse injury that irritates the tendinous tissue, rest is recommending along with other therapeutic modalities that will speed up the healing process. Being a tendinous tissue, the IT band receives very little blood supply so increasing the circulation along the outside of the knee and lateral thigh is very important for a speedy recovery. Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves that enhance circulation to the injured area and reduce the inflammation. This increases the flow of nutrients and growth factors and promotes tissue healing and regeneration.
Most people recover from ITB without a problem but it can take from two to six weeks to return to full activity without pain. Stretching the muscles in the legs is an important part of preventing a recurring ITB problem. Avoiding unstable surfaces and paying attention to your biomechanics will keep you away from the training room and back on the field.