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Iliotibial Band Syndrome (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Aside from pain control with antiinflammatory medications, treatment alternatives tend to be recommended in a stepwise approach.

Physical therapy may be a viable treatment option for many patients with iliotibial band syndrome. The therapist may wish to assess running technique and style to look for an underlying biomechanical cause of iliotibial band inflammation. This may include gait analysis as well as flexibility and muscle strength assessment.

  • The therapist may be able to recommend proper shoes or an orthotic shoe insert to help correct any imbalances or abnormalities.
  • The therapist may teach specific stretches to loosen tight structures.
  • In treating the acute injury, phonopheresis (a technique in which ultrasound is used to propel antiinflammatory or corticosteroid medications through the skin into the inflamed tissue) or iontopheresis (an electric charge is used instead of ultrasound to deliver the medications through the skin) may be considered.

If rest, ice, and physical therapy fail to resolve the inflammation, the health-care provider may consider a corticosteroid injection into the inflamed area.

Finally, if all else fails, surgical options do exist. An orthopedic surgeon, using an arthroscope, may be able to break down the scarring surrounding the iliotibial band. If needed, the band can also be lengthened to decrease the stretch and subsequent potential for irritation and inflammation as it crosses the femoral condyle.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/5/2014

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