How We Treat Iliotibial / ITB Pain At Featherston Street Pain Clinic

Our 3 Step Treatment Process

Finding relief from stubborn iliotibial band / ITB pain can be surprisingly straightforward. Yet in other instances a systematic, focused, and persistent approach may be required to get your iliotibial band / ITB pain under control. 

We specialise in providing flexible ‘multidisciplinary’ pain relief – using a wide range of tools and techniques. This ensures we have the best possible chance that we can help everyone: from the most easy straightforward cases right through to the most stubborn treatment resistant forms of pain.

Step One

Find The Cause

Step Two

Hands On Pain Relief

Step Three

Rehabilitation And Prevention

Step One - Find the Cause

Getting to the bottom of your iliotibial band / ITB pain means finding out exactly where in the body your pain is coming from – and exactly what is causing it.

The first thing we want to know is which tissues are generating your pain. 

Iliotibial band / ITB Pain can come from muscle, tendons, joints, ligaments, nerves, bones, fascia (connective tissue) or even an internal organ. Establishing clearly which tissue is creating the pain is the first step towards relief. But we don’t stop there because we want to know WHY you are in pain.

Some iliotibial band / ITB pains are caused by damaged or degenerated tissue. Some iliotibial band / ITB pains are caused by weakness deep in the core and hip. Some iliotibial band / ITB pains are caused by scar tissue from old injuries. Some iliotibial band / ITB pains are caused by the nature of a person’s job. Some iliotibial band / ITB pains can even be caused by having flat feet or a rotated pelvis. 

Finding out why you have iliotibial band / ITB pain may be important if you want longer term relief. Which is why we place great importance on this step. We have a wide range of technologies and tests at our disposal, in order to identify the source of iliotibial band / ITB pain. In the unlikely event that you need an X Ray or MRI to diagnose your pain we can organise a referral for relevant imaging for you on the spot.

Step Two - Hands On Pain Relief

In most cases of iliotibial band / ITB pain, it’s necessary to work with a team  who combine a variety of technologies and hands-on methods to ease your iliotibial band / ITB pain. So that’s exactly what we do.

Most people who require treatment for stubborn iliotibial band / ITB pain don’t respond particularly well to simply being given home exercises. Much in the same way that most people with toothache don’t respond too well to being sent home with some dental floss. When toothache is bad you need a filling, when iliotibial band / ITB pain is bad you need access to treatments and technologies that ease your pain.

If you have chronic iliotibial band / ITB pain you almost certainly need hands on treatments with professionals who are trained to treat pain. We use some of the most advanced pain technology available anywhere combined with a wide range of skill based manual techniques.

Step Three - Rehabilitation And Prevention

Successful long term prevention of iliotibial band / ITB pain often requires more than just the right ‘treatments’. 

For many patients, iliotibial band / ITB pain treatments that bring some blessed relief are often just the start point. Glute strengthening,, postural correction, lifestyle tweaks, training tweaks and custom orthotics are often necessary. Muscle weakness deep in the core can also be a key issue.

Most cases of iliotibial band / ITB pain are either caused by something that we are doing wrong or something that the body needs help with like glute strength or alignment. Making necessary  adjustments to your lifestyle and the wellbeing of your body may be necessary for longer term success. Coaching for these important changes in those who wish to make them is a part of what we do

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Treatments And Technologies We Use To Treat Iliotibial Band / ITB Pain

There are many different ways to treat iliotibial band / ITB pain, and it’s just as well because we don’t all respond to the same stuff. 

The ultimate key to successful treatment of iliotibial band / ITB pain is working with a team who are willing to take a sufficiently flexible approach, and trial a number of different therapies to see what works best on your specific case.

Low Energy Laser Therapy is the application of specific deeply penetrating light waves to a painful area. Light with a wavelength in the red to near infrared region of the spectrum (660nm–905nm) is generally employed because these wavelengths have the ability to penetrate skin, and soft/hard tissues. Lasers like these are known to trigger the release of a substance called ATP within cells, this suggests that they boost tissue metabolism in painful areas.

A great many clinical trials have shown this type of treatment has a meaningful effect on inflammation and tissue repair. In our experience people with iliotibial band / ITB pain often experience immediate improvements in their pain after laser sessions.

Shockwave Therapy is a non-surgical – non-drug-based – scientifically approved therapy that is widely used as a iliotibial band / ITB pain treatment. There have been literally hundreds of studies that support the use of shockwave therapy for a very wide range of  pain complaints.

Shockwave Therapy was originally developed for its application as a non-invasive treatment of kidney stones. We use a gentler form of the same technology to break up deep muscle knots, calcified tendons and tracts of scar tissue in the leg. For more information on shockwave therapy visit our shockwave homepage here.

Gait Analysis & Stride Analysis tools are for people who are interested in long term prevention of pain. When the root cause of your pain has been uncovered it takes all the guess-work out of treatment and rehabilitation of pain. Deep insights into our movement patterns are now possible: with the use of cloud based AI machine learning; and complex sensors that go in your shoes while you perform movement tests.This data opens the door to tailored forms of rehabilitation

We believe that all pains have a story to tell and that there are genuine underlying physical issues behind all stubborn pain.  In other words, you don’t get sore overnight, and you certainly don’t get chronic pain overnight, unless you have had a real physical issue. Gait Analysis & Stride Analysis are designed to identify these issues.

 A great many clinical trials have shown this type of treatment has a meaningful effect on pain, inflammation and tissue repair. In our experience people with neck pain often experience immediate improvements in their pain after laser sessions. 

Orthotics are a tool that have helped millions of people move past exactly the type of stubborn pains that tend to chip away at the fun, freedom, and choice that make life enjoyable.

An averagely active person takes in excess of 3 million steps per year. Modern humans do all this on extremely flat, hard surfaces like concrete, tarmac and paving stones. Hard, flat surfaces are as stressful to our joints and connective tissues as sugar is to our teeth. This is a major part of why we live in an epidemic of lower body pain and degeneration.

Orthotics are a way of protecting us from the lifelong strain concrete and tarmac inflict on our tissues.. The Increased support for the foot that orthotics provide often brings greater ease and freedom to our movements in the long term. The benefits are often felt not only in the feet, ankles, and knees but even in the back and hips.

If you suffer with stubborn iliotibial band / ITB pain that you want to get rid of permanently its likely that you will need to address some underlying weaknesses and imbalances. This ‘rehabilitation’ step is important for those who want to resolve their iliotibial band / ITB pain in the longer term. 

The key to effective strengthening exercises for chronic iliotibial band / ITB pain is learning to isolate your glute muscles. In addition to this the glutes need to be recruited ‘functionally’ in . natural weight bearing positions. We specialise in prescribing these type of exercises.

Most legs with persistent or recurring pain are full of ‘pressure points’ or myofascial trigger points (the sore spots you feel in muscles when you get a deep massage). At Featherston St. Pain Clinic we consider ourselves experts at finding and releasing the most stubborn trigger points. It’s not always fun to have done (we know that ourselves) but boy can it help with persistent iliotibial band / ITB pain; when it’s done properly!

Acupuncture can be extremely helpful in the management of many iliotibial band / ITB pain cases. We don’t approach acupuncture in the traditional way where needles are placed in a wide no.of locations, we  focus directly on the area of pain. 

Acupuncture aims to promote blood flow, release pressure points in muscle and reduce pain signals. Needles are placed  around the area of pain and we generally leave them in for around 10 minutes, depending on your body’s tolerance to them. If acupuncture works for your iliotibial band / ITB pain, you will usually start to feel the benefits within the first 2-3 sessions.

A large number of people suffer with stubborn iliotibial band / ITB pains caused in part by old unhealed injuries. These issues can come from almost any historical back, hip, knee and ankle injury. These old injuries can put pressure on the iliotibial band via tracts of scar tissue.

Scraping gently in and around the connective tissues and muscle using a blunt scraping tool is the basic method behind how we manage scar tissue.. Guasha is the old Chinese name for this technique but  there are more modern techniques like Graston Technique. The idea is to break up and assist with remodeling of microscopic scar tissue adhesions, which are a major cause of iliotibial band / ITB pain.

Along with muscle wasting many of us develop tracts of scar tissue after an injury that can cause us problems in the long term. Using safe non-invasive scraping techniques and specific stretches, scar tissue can be broken down and re-modelled.

Muscle tension Is a major contributor to many cases of iliotibial band / ITB pain. By using specific stretch techniques for the muscles in the thigh you can often release a great deal of tension. Post Isometric stretches are a specific style of stretching that utilises your muscle’s tendency to relax after it has contracted strongly.

Cupping massage or cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years by multiple global cultures and not only is it still around for good reason, it is currently undergoing a powerful resurgence. 

Using suction cups for the treatment for iliotibial band / ITB pain increases blood flow in the area, stretches the fascia, can bring massive amounts of relief; and yes leaves funny marks that your friends and family will assume are bruises. The most common myth around cupping is that it releases toxins, the actual cause of the marks in cupping leaves is deoxygenated blood that has been drawn to the surface.

We don’t do this kind of therapy at Featherston Street Pain Clinic but consider ourselves to be excellent at identifying whether you might benefit from an increase in emotional resilience in the longer term. In these instances, we make gentle recommendations and can make referrals.

Percussive movements have been an established component of soft tissue release, massage and even respiratory healthcare for thousands of years, and it is no less effective today. Percussion massage as treatment for iliotibial band / ITB pain generally involves the use of mechanical massage devices. It is designed to reduce muscle tension and promote blood flow within the soft tissues. Percussion is generally at its best when used in combination with the other treatments for iliotibial band / ITB pain like those in this list.

Heaps of people find the application of ice packs for the treatment of their iliotibial band / ITB pain can prove to be very beneficial. Ice works by interrupting pain signals within the nerve, stimulates the activity of blood vessels, and reduces both inflammatory and pain chemistry in the soft tissues. 

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether heat or ice is better. Nine times out of ten ice is a better option than heat when you have pain. Heat can be a bit of a tricky one because it does often feel soothing at the time. Sometime after heat application however you may have more pain than you might otherwise have had.

Our 5 Pain Treatment Fundamentals

Hands On Treatments

We are in the business of helping you get out of pain. The heart of our clinical process is a committed and very hands on approach to relieving your iliotibial band / ITB pain as quickly, painlessly and safely as possible. We are willing to use a wide range of tools and also to work tirelessly in our efforts to get you out of pain.

Flexible Treatment Approach

Even among professionals there is little agreement on the best ways to treat pain. There is one thing that we know for certain about pain management though… a flexible multidisciplinary treatment approach to pain is best. This is why we take such great care to provide the most diverse range of pain relief tools possible under one roof.

Get To The Bottom Of It

The human body seldom if ever generates pain for no reason. Pain is a highly organised and intelligent form of feedback that has evolved over millions of years. In other words, if you have pain it will be for a good reason. We always strive to find the deepest possible explanation for your pain so that you have the best possible chance of preventing it in the longer term.

Excellent Communication

Unlike a one-off filling at the dentist, successfully managing iliotibial band / ITB pain is a process. A process that often requires commitment, trust and clear communication. We believe that clear and open communication combined with genuine rapport are fundamental within our arsenal of pain management tools.

Assume Nothing 

Just because a treatment has worked for us a thousand times before; doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work on you! Pain management is not a ‘1 size fits all’ moment in life. We monitor our patients’ response to treatment very closely. This approach enables us to make agile treatment protocols that can be altered in real time should we find that you aren’t responding to the methods that we expect to work for you.