Question:

Dear TAI Experts:

How would you treat an IT Band injury? I want to get back to being able to sweat again (i.e. aerobic activity) ASAP. Can you help?

Answer:

Without examining you in person it will be difficult to make specific recommendations. In general an IT band syndrome has many contributing factors including friction at the outside of the knee (often times where pain is felt), possible hip/knee/foot alignment issues, and weakness of the hips and lower extremity. In order to successfully treat an IT band syndrome, irritation of the involved tissues must be decreased, which usually means changing or decreasing aggravating activities and utilizing ice over the involved area. As inflammation decreases, a comprehensive program of hip-focused leg strengthening and flexibility is initiated to further offload the involved tissue. Typically, after 4-6 weeks of lower extremity strengthening, a slow, pain-free return to desired activity is possible. Seeking an evaluation by a physical therapist can be instrumental in addressing the specific factors which are contributing to the dysfunction at the IT band. A physical therapist will also have additional anti-inflammatory modalities, specific exercise prescription, and manual therapy techniques to maximize recovery and return to pain free aerobic activity.

Kevin Hanson PT, DPT