Cold knee wrap
The first thing to do if you have ITB related lateral knee pain is to apply cold therapy and compression. This is important for reducing pain and inflammation. A reusable hot and cold gel pack is ideal when combined with a compression wrap.
It is easy and convenient to use. Top tip - always have a couple in your freezer in case of emergencies. They are more convenient and less messy than using ice.
The next thing to do is to wear an Iliotibial band strap. This sits just above your knee and applies compression to the tendon itself. It reduces the strain on your iliotibial band by changing slightly the direction that forces transmit through it.
Initially during the acute, painful stage the strap can be worn all the time to relieve symptoms. As you improve and begin to run again
A foam roller is another great all round bit of equipment to have in your kit bag. A key part of treatment for Iliotibial band syndrome is massage to the iliotibial band itself, as well as the gluteal muscles in particular.
Most people do not have access to daily deep tissue massage. However, you can get exactly the same benefits by using a foam roller. The long term cure for Iliotibial band friction syndrome is to reduce the friction. This is done by releasing tension in the Iliotibial, stretching and strengthening the gluteal muscles.
Work the foam roller along the tendon from the knee upwards. It is a good idea to maintain this as part of your warm up, even when you think you are better.
Exercise resistance bands
Another important element to treating and recovering from Iliotibial band friction syndrome is strengthening the gluteal muscles. The clam exercise is great for this and is done in a variety of ways.
You will be unlikely to get the right load through the muscles though unless you add some resistance from an exercise band. Start with a light band and gradually work your way up to stronger bands. Include heel drop exercises as well when you can do them pain free.