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Do you have lateral knee pain? (ITBS syndrome)

ITBS - the most common cause of lateral knee pain


Should we really be trying to stretch it?


For years people have been told they have a “tight” ITB & it’s the pulling of that that causes the lateral knee pain (I’ll hold my hands up to that one!) - hence the need to “stretch” or “release” it in order to reduce the pain.


Recent research has revealed that iliotibial band syndrome isn’t actually caused by friction but instead compression on sensitive structures. The purpose of the ITB is to provide stability around both the hip & knee and also store and release energy - like a spring. It’s a very strong connective tissue & actually needs to stay that way - we shouldn’t be trying to stretch it.


This particular study found that ITBS is more likely to be caused by weakness (especially hip ABDuction & external rotation) & loss of control around the hip (increase in hip ADDuction) rather than the band itself.


The evidence suggests that rehab should now focus on calming symptoms before addressing the causative factors (Geisler, 2020).


Level 1 - low load, open chain e.g side lying abductions, side lying ER’s & hip extension strengthening - glute bridges.


Level 2 - moderate load, closed chain e.g mini squats, lunges, step ups Level 3 - higher load, impact and sport prep e.g goblet squats, SL squats and plyometrics.













Edited from PhysioNetwork.


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