Every day at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center, I see Soldiers with the diagnosis of Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome.
It is a very common overuse injury Soldiers experience caused by tight hip flexor muscles that as a result make the IT Band rub over the hip bone (greater trochanter) or the outside of the knee bone (lateral femoral condyle). This may cause clicking and popping at one or both of these sites. Pain is typically located around the knee cap and/or over the hip.
While this overuse injury is common in athletes involved in running and cycling, I see it occur frequently in Soldiers who progress training too fast and neglect an important component of physical fitness – flexibility. This injury does not have to be a career stopper if recognized and treated early.
The core of any overuse injury treatment program should be rest, ice, compression and elevation, or RICE, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, meloxicam or diclofenac.
In six years of clinical practice in the profession of orthopedic physical therapy, I found the following self care treatments extremely effective: stretching, foam rolling, ice massage and Kinesiotaping.