Iliotibial Band Syndrome

You CAN beat ITBS!!

Like you, I have had this pain in my knee (sometimes in both knees!). I've spend a number of hours searching some of the primary Internet search engines, so you don't have to.

Let me start off by saying that I have NO FORMAL MEDICAL TRAINING. Iím simply someone who suffered through ITBS off and on for 7 years and talked with a lot of people about it. If you think you might have ITBS, I strongly recommend you get a formal evaluation by a doctor who specializes in Sports Medicine or a Physical Therapist.

ó Stew Stryker, Windsor, VT

Get started

...with a very brief summary of treatments for ITBS.

What's New:

 10/17/04 - Added link to additional ITBS overview.

 1/17/04 - Gottardo Pestalozzi of Zurich sent me a link to 'Walt Reynolds's ITB Special' exercise.  Iíd swear Iíve seen this before, but couldnít find a link on this site. Youíll find it under Treatments.  Gottardo swears that 4 weeks of it enabled him to bike 6-8 hours per day. Oddly, I found exactly the same text at another site.

 10/12/03 - Angela Lewis, PT writes to correct information from James Jowdy about her profession, especially information about your ability to see PTs for diagnosis.

 8/9/03 - Added a note from a reader about her hypothyroidism and possible connection to her ITBS.  It includes a link to a good article on hypothyroidism and tendonitis.

 5/13/03 - An athletic trainer wrote to correct my understanding of when to see a P.T., the training that athletic trainers have in helping ITBS, when not to stretch, and appropriate strategies for pool running. Thanks James!

 2/27/03 - Ads be gone!  Enough people donated to the site to support it for this year, I got tired of seeing the ads, and they werenít really making any money anyway!  Hopefully contributions (even $5) will keep trickling in.  Thanks to all those who gave! - Stew

 9/19/02 - I finished looking through the new book on ITBS, mentioned below. In my opinion, itís a total waste of money, as it provides very little information about ITBS itself, and looks to me as if it was rehashed from the content of a general book on knee injuries, with ITBS inserted at various places.  Most of the website links I saw were general links to medical sites, rather than specific links.  Iíve looked through the entire book and Iím returning it for a refund. 

Of course, this is only my opinion and I donít have any proof that this is a rehashing of some other book.

My apologies for listing on this website without having reviewed it first, and using purchases to raise money for this site (through Barnes & Nobleís affiliate program).

 8/17/02 - Added a better description to the classic ITB stretch.  Unfortunately, no one besides Ann Stewart seems inclined to donate to support this site and only two people have purchased from the advertisers. Meanwhile, our web host, catalog.com, has instituted an additional $25 annual ďmembershipĒ fee, which Iím going to have to eat.  Yes, this is a hobby for me, but I really hoped itíd be easier to get support from the thousands of people that visit this site every year.  [whine] -- Stew

 7/4/02 - After getting a great email from Ann Stewart of Sacramento, offering to send a donation to support this site, I added the PayPal donation button at the left. They take a cut of the donation, $.30 plus 2.9%.  So the more you donate, the larger percent that actually supports this site!  Thanks to all who donate!

 6/30/02 - Just learned of a new book on ITBS called Official Patient's SourceBook on Iliotibial Band Syndrome: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age , which you can order through Barnes and Nobles for $17.46 plus shipping. 

 6/25/02 - Moved website to its own domain!  Iím about to change Internet providers and my new provider doesnít offer free web space. So the ITBS website will finally get its own domain name - itbs.info - which should be accessible very shortly.  The bad news is that the new site has to cover its costs, so Iíll be displaying ads until the cost is met, as soon as possible, and then the ads vanish!  Read the About page for more details.

Please update your bookmark for this site to: https://itbs.info . This site wonít be at my personal ISP for much longer.

 02/23/01 - Fixed signup form for e-mail discussion groups, as the host (eGroups) was bought by Yahoo! and converted to a Yahoo! Group. Functionality is still the same, just the ads are different. :-) You can post messages to it by sending to . You can join by and registering. You can unsubscribe by sending e-mail to .

 01/08/01 - Found a great new article describing ITBS from the ITBS discussion forum (see below).

 10/3/00 - The discussion group activity continues to grow. One writer mentioned that you can now order the Patt-Strap via the Pattstrap.com catalog.

 10/2/00 - This web site listed on the PattStrap web site as the Daily Bookmark. Site gets 800 new hits from 1-day exposure.

 6/10/00 - My wife and I hiked in the Smokie Mountains for 6 days straight (short hikes, mostly) that included lots of ups and downs. She wore the Patt-Strap throughout and never had a problem with her ITB. Along the way, we met 2 folks who were complaining of ITBS and I recommended the Patt-Strap to them, even writing out their web address for one!

 5/1/00 - My wife also has mild ITBS (along with other knee problems) when she hikes which I've tried to help her through. Today we went on a 5 mile hike up nearby Mt. Cardigan in Canann, NH. I thought to give her the Patt-Strap and tell her how to wrap it before we left. This mountain has some fairly steep spots, but the leg with the Patt-Strap (the normally-worse one) didn't bother her much at all. Her other leg that rarely gets ITBS was showing signs of it before we got to the bottom. So the Patt-Strap clearly helped her! We're going on a longer hike next week and she asked me to order a second strap for her.

By the way, if anyone's wondering if I get a commission from Fabrifoam, the answer is no. I had to pay $24 for my order for 2 straps just like anyone else. I make nothing from recommending the Patt-Strap, except knowing I helped someone.

 9/7/99 - Fabrifoam, the company that makes the Patt-Strap, now has their own web site. I recommend this device to all ITBS sufferers, as it's helped me tremendously.

 10/25/98 - Added variation on classic ITB stretch

I have continued to have good success with the Patt-Strap and recommend it to all.

 4/17/98 - I went for a 10-minute run with the Patt-Strap and didn't experience any ITBS pain. (Just quad pain the next day, because I'm totally out of shape!)

Patt-Strap knee wrap - Study at U.S. Naval Academy suggests it can help prevent ITBS symptoms.

The guest book can be used to commiserate about your ITBS problems and share treatments and solutions to ITBS. However, I don't read it regularly, so if you want to contact me, send e-mail.

Merlin59 went under the knife to get part of his ITB removed. Follow his surgery and recovery under "Other's History".

 

Summary of treatments for ITBS:

First off, we all want to be able to run again. We get depressed if we can't. Not running sucks.

If you rush back to running, you'll never break the injury cycle. Patience is tough, but is required to get over a bout of ITBS. Patience in NOT running, patience in increasing your mileage very slowly. Like take a month off of no running or biking or doing squatting-type exercises, like lunges. Every time you bend your knee to a 45 degree angle, your rubbing your ITB against one of the knee bones, which causes the inflammation and pain.

You have to help the inflammation go away with RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Iím also a firm believer in NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. - NOT Tylenol). After the area is no longer tender, try warming up with non-inflammatory exercises, and do a good series of stretches for your legs in general and specifically for your ITB. As depressing as this may sound, that's what you need to do for the first month after your last ITBS bout. Also, check through the ITBS web site for suggestions of different possible causes (worn shoes, bio-mechanical problems, etc.) and get them taken care of. Then start again slowly, running 5 minutes every other day the first week. Second week you can add 5 minutes each time. That is, 10 minutes 3 times during the week. Continue adding no more than 5 minutes to each run each week.

If you feel pain at your ITB, STOP RUNNING RIGHT AWAY. Go to the side of the road and stretch your ITB for at least 2 minutes. Then walk home. Ice up and take your favorite NSAIDS. Take the next day off, and start again with the previous week's time. Stretch more. If it acts up again, go to a pro - a good physical therapist who commonly treats ITBS.

Between 11/1/96 - 3/20/97, there were 1,165 ITBS sufferers to look here for relief.

Between 3/21/97 - 6/25/02, there have been approximately 110,500 ITBS sufferers to look here for relief.

I hope you find help here too!

 

As Iíve said, Iím not a medical person, but Iíve learned lots about ITBS. You can write with questions, but please try to read through the ideas on this site first.  Iíd also like to hear about peopleís successes or failures with treatments, which Iíll add to the site.

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