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síndrome de la cintilla iliotibial

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

In this article, we will talk about iliotibial band syndrome, its causes, symptoms, and treatment methods.
12 de April de 2024
Written by:
Dr. Pablo Gelber

The iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), commonly known as runner’s knee, is an injury in which the iliotibial band (ITB) becomes inflamed, manifesting when chronic friction between the ITB and the lateral femoral condyle of the knee induces irritation and pain, especially during activities such as running.

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of connective tissue that extends from the hip to the outer part of the knee. Its main function is to provide stability to the knee joint during movement. In this article, we will analyze the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods.


  • Overload from activities involving repetitive flexion and extension of the knee, such as running, walking long distances, or cycling.
  • Use of inappropriate footwear.
  • Sudden increase in training intensity and volume.
  • Muscular weakness in the gluteal and hip muscle groups.
  • Structural misalignment of the pelvis or lower extremities.


Characteristic symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome include:

  • Localized pain in the lateral region of the knee, with possible proximal or distal irradiation in the leg.
  • Localized sensitivity or edema in the affected area.
  • Aggravation of pain during physical activity and relief with rest.
  • Feeling of joint stiffness or perception of restriction during knee flexion.

Treatment methods

The therapeutic approach to iliotibial band syndrome generally includes a combination of measures including rest, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and adjustments to the training regimen. Some conventional therapeutic strategies include:

  • Periods of rest and avoiding activities that trigger pain.
  • Application of cryotherapy to reduce inflammation in the affected area.
  • Implementation of stretching and strengthening programs focused on the muscles of the hip and thigh.
  • Incorporation of physiotherapy techniques, such as therapeutic massage and manual manipulation.
  • Use of orthopedic devices, such as knee braces or specialized footwear, to correct possible biomechanical misalignments.
  • Gradual reintroduction of physical activity once the pain has subsided.

In severe or persistent cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to release the ITB and eliminate excessive friction. However, most cases of iliotibial band syndrome respond well to conservative treatment.

It is important to consult a doctor or physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, imaging diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound may be necessary to rule out other injuries and implement an appropriate treatment plan. To request more information, please contact Dr. Pablo Gelber.

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