There are many different treatment options with regards to ITB syndrome.
The first precaution to take in order to not aggravate the symptoms when there is an acute inflammation of the ITB is to decrease the activity provoking the pain (e.g. running). Active resting should be promoted. This means the patient should avoid activities that overload the knee but remain active, practicing activities which are less stressful for the knee (e.g. swimming).
Icing the involved area may help to decrease the inflammation and then consequently the pressure on the knee. General stretching of the thigh (not just the iliotibial band) might also help to manage the pain.
If the inflammation does not decrease some treatment techniques, such as ultrasound therapy, radial shockwave therapy, muscle stimulation or iontophoresis might be suggested to have some local benefits and reduce the inflammation. Among all of these, radial shockwave therapy seems to be the most recommended because it inhibits nociceptors and promotes soft tissue healing.
Overall, it is recommended to manage the ITB syndrome with an Osteopath or a Physiotherapist. They will work with you to find the causative factors and reduce any postural compensation that overloads the knee. They may:
- Prescribe you specific exercises tailored to you and your posture. This will usually involve, stretching and strengthening the thigh muscles in order to stabilize the hip and release the overload on to the IT band.
- Work on your running mechanics. Taking part in a running assessment/analysis helps to outline compensations and habits that maybe the trigger cause of the ITB inflammation. Correcting your running patterns will help you to recover faster and help with injury prevention.
- Use hands-on treatment involving myofascial release techniques to release the tension on the ITB and the other muscles which have adapted as a compensatory mechanism.
In rare cases, when prolonged conservative management has not been effective in alleviating the pain, surgery might be indicated. However, is must be noted that surgery is not considered as a first form of intervention for managing ITB syndrome.