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Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Knee Pain and Massage
  • Posted by:martin
  • Posted on : August 18, 2015



Iliotibial Band Tightness, Knee Pain and Massage

Tightness in the Iliotibial Band may cause significant pain on the outside of the thigh and knee where it crosses superficially over the lateral epicondyle of the femur. Runners and bicyclists often suffer from Iliotibial Band Syndrome as a result of the repetitive flexion and extension of the knees, but people with leg-length discrepancies or unbalanced gaits may experience lateral knee pain as well.

The Iliotibial Band connects to the iliac crest, posterior to the anterior superior iliac spine, via the tensor fascia latae muscle, and runs down the leg, superficial to the vastus lateralus muscle to connect at the lateral condyle of the tibia. It is a thick, connective sheath of fascia that does not have the same elasticity as muscle tissue. Among other things, it acts to stabilize the knee when running, walking, bicycling. The cause of the pain is repetitive friction over the bursa sac that acts to lubricate the space between the Iliotibial Band and the femoral epicondyle. When the Iliotibial Band is excessively tight, the pain may intensify.

Various stretching and massage techniques may help to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with iliotibial band syndrome. Compression and long gliding massage strokes will warm the iliotibial band and allow for deeper cross-fiber friction of the lateral leg and knee. A variety of techniques can be used to lift the iliotibial band off the vastus lateralus muscle and break up any adhesions. Finally, direct and focused shiatsu or acupressure of the iliotibial band may be applied to bring about deep circulation of blood to the tissues.