Iliotibial Band Syndrome (cont.)

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What exercises should be avoided with iliotibial band syndrome?

Most people want to return to their activity of choice as soon as possible, but rest is an important component of treatment. Running, cycling, squatting, and walking up or downhill can aggravate the iliotibial band and delay healing. It is important for the patient to listen to their body and try to appreciate what specific activity or range of motion causes the pain and try to avoid it if possible.

What is the prognosis for iliotibial band syndrome? Can iliotibial band syndrome be prevented?

Most patients recover from iliotibial band syndrome, but it can take from weeks to months to return to full activity without pain. Patience is required for optimal results.

Understanding the importance of symmetry in the body is helpful in preventing iliotibial band syndrome. When activities alter that symmetry, symptoms may occur.

Symptoms can occur in runners who always run in the same direction on an indoor track or who always run on the same side of a banked road. This causes an artificial tilt to the pelvis and increases the risk of developing inflammation and pain. When running indoors, it is wise to change directions when running longer distances. Some tracks have the runners change directions every few minutes while others change direction on alternate days. While running toward traffic is an important safety strategy, finding a way to run on the opposite side of the street safely may minimize the risk of developing iliotibial band syndrome.

Bicyclists are at risk for iliotibial band syndrome if they tend to pedal with their toes turned in, which can cause abnormal stretching of the iliotibial band at the knee. Being aware of pedaling technique may minimize the risk of developing symptoms.

Keeping muscles and other structures stretched is an important part of prevention of many musculoskeletal injuries, including iliotibial band syndrome

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2014

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