Iliotibial band pathology: synthesizing the available evidence for clinical progress

Review written by Tom Goom info

Key Points

  1. Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is thought to be a pathology of compression of sensitive structures, not friction.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is thought to be the most common cause of lateral knee pain, and yet it’s a pathology that is poorly understood and drastically under-researched! Beyond some seminal papers in the early 80’s, there are just a handful of clinical studies and very limited high-quality evidence. This narrative review sought to examine the literature to provide an overview of current thoughts on pathology and management. Below we’ll summarise some of their findings.

ITBS is thought to be the most common cause of lateral knee pain.
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This paper challenges common treatment approaches for ITBS such as stretching and massage.

PATHOLOGY

For some time, ITBS has been considered a ‘friction syndrome’ with the ITB thought to cause friction on the structures beneath it, leading to pain. The ITB was seen as a moveable structure that could roll over the lateral femoral

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