If you are a runner and you have experienced pain around the outside of your knee, chances are you were told by an expert “you must stretch your ITB!” Why? . . . . The ITB (Ilio-Tibial Band) is a very strong length of connective tissue that is designed to stabilise the lateral aspect of your knee. It has very extensive attachments around the outside of your knee joint, your patella (knee cap) as well as the femur, tibia and fibula. Along with knee stability it is also a stabiliser of the hip, in conjunction with other muscles around that joint. It is strong, stable and can’t be stretched! To quote Brad Hiskins (Soft Tissue Therapist at the AIS for 10 years) “tensile testing has shown you could swing a Volkswagon off it!”
Many athletes swear by foam rolling your ITB “as it helps to lengthen the tissue”. NO IT DOESN”T!
Recent research (Geisler & Lazenby 2017) has shown that the underlying tissues, the vastus lateralis muscle, fascia and the adipose tissue that lies between the ITB and the femur may be the source of the pain that is experienced. When treating these tissues myofascial release techniques have been found to be the most beneficial forms of treatment. Couple this with Dry Needling, Kinesio Taping and other forms of Soft Tissue work can enhance and improve the treatment outcomes.
It makes sense to get a proper assessment that the pain is being caused by the ITB and not by other structures such as lateral co-lateral ligament strain, patello-femoral pain, lateral meniscus injury, hamstring strain (in particular the biceps femoris tendon) among others.
If you’re getting unexplained knee pain, we can help with this problem, so call us NOW!