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Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome

Does anyone else out there have ITBS? I've had it more than half my life, since I was 12. I was very active before and I haven't been able to do anything impact since. I was on crutches for 9 months, had several rounds of anti-inflammatories, several cortisone-novocaine injections, and more than 2 years of physical therapy. I'm able to function now, but sometimes I step wrong, my band snaps, and I can barely walk for several days. I want to get the surgery to lengthen the band, but I can't find a doc who'll do it. Also, my oldest neice, who is 12 years old now was just diagnosed with it. I can't imagine that ITBS would be genetic, but talk about coincidence! Does anyone have any experience with ITBS? Thanks in advance.

Tue. Jan 22, 7:56am

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If you're interested in trying something "alternative", there's a style of bodywork - which I consider more like physical therapy than massage therapy, but it's usually classified as the latter - called Rolfing. Rolfing focuses on realigning and lengthening connective tissue through manual manipulation, and if memory serves me right, the IT band is connective tissue.

You can read up on it and find a practitioner at and Just so you know, it's rarely covered by insurance and, as a guideline, tends to cost a little more than what you'd pay for a massage (no point quoting you a price, since that varies with geography).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 10:23 AM

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My experience with ITB problems

I must really have a vested interest in replying to your post, because this is the THIRD timeI have tried to type a response- the previous attempts were not able to be posted and lost.
OK, in my earlier years I infrequently experienced what I thought was my left hip 'giving out on me', and I went to variuos doctors and fitness professionals but no one knew what to do for it.
Now 54 years old, with 40 pounds to loose, and still actively exersizing, the problem came back in a worse way. I was accompanying friends searching thru a huge furniture store (with a lot of stop and start walking). I found that when I would go to take a step in an unexpected direction, from a standstill position, my left leg would crumple out from under me, hurting to the point that I would yelp.
I went to an orthopedist who examined me, did MRI's etc. He suggested constant use of custom orthotics and sturdy supportive shoes, and sent me to PT for 3 months. Frankly, only one of the exercises at PT did anything for the problem. ( I would be happy to provide more specifics but don't want to bore you with too many details).
Eventually I ended up with a medical masseusse also trained in Oriental medicine (interesting as the second poster wrote about Rolfing as a treatment).
After one minute of moving my hip and left leg around on the massage table she flatly stated "The problem comes from your Ilio-Tibial Tendon, not your hip" Then she proceeded to push her fingers, it felt like to the point that her knuckles werre disappearing into my thigh, and said "Now you are going to feel this here (upper thigh)" Ouch,! "and here (lower down the thigh)" more Ouch! and so on all the way to below my knee. The treatment hurt, and the next day where she had pushed looked like the color of an eggplant but I could walk with less pain and the leg was not crumpling out from underneath me so often. I came to understand she was actually pushing on the tendon to strengthen it, much as a person does when exercising. I saw her for 3 long sessions over a month long period. I go back for a 'tune-up" when it starts happening a lot.
No one has ever used the word "Friction" when naming my ITB problem, so I don't know if you have the same condition in more severe form, or if it is different.
I really empathize with you, because as much as my problem was /is very disruptive when it occurs, your situation sounds so much worse.
I am posting because so few people, on the patient end or the healing profession end, seem to know about ITB.
Looking forward to hearing from you,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 11:26 AM

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I just strained my IT band last night - luckily I am a receptionist at a physical therapy clinic so I had someone to get free professional advice from first thing this morning. Ice and Advil - stop running on it for a few days and see if it gets better. Physical or massage therapy can help but can also be expensive. There really isn't much you can do for IT bands. (I dont know much about it - but I have heard rolfing is really painful.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 1:05 PM

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I feel for you, OP. I had ITB problems when I trained for my first marathon - never knew about them until I was pretty much hobbled from running! For the next marathon we found specific stretches and that helped us complete the training and run the race w/o a problem, but it was awful that first time around. I can't imagine dealing with it all the time. And, that stinks for your niece. That does seem like more than a coincidence.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 1:33 PM

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Last Poster,
If you wouldn't mind could you say more about what the specific stretches were that helped your ITB problems?
Thanks, Chalant

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 11:32 PM

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