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Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome

The iliotibial band is a large sometimes tense band of tendon that originates from the muscle high up on the side of the thigh and attaches on the lateral side of the knee. This tendon can become too tight from overuse and start to rub over the bony prominence on the side of the knee or hip. It then becomes thickened, inflamed and painful. The treatment is geared to decrease the inflammation and prevent recurrences. Anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful and prescribed accordingly. In severe cases a cortisone injection may be required. Physical therapy may also be prescribed to include: ultrasound (deep sound waves to heat the tendon), heat and/or ice, phonophoresis (combination of ultrasound and cortisone), iontophoresis (combination of electrical stimulation and cortisone), various stretching exercises and strengthening exercises, ASTYM. Gait analysis is often required to correct the patient’s running and walking mechanics.

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