Running pain

How to treat wiper syndrome

What is windshield wiper syndrome?

Wiper syndrome, also known as iliotibial band syndrome or bientendinitis of the fascia lata, is more concretely a pain located on the "external side of the knee". It is often referred to as "sports-related pain" and can last for months before disappearing completely. The TFL (fascia lata tensor muscle) connects the augenou hip.

What's causing it? 

The inflammation is caused by the friction of the tibial band at each flexion and extension of the knee, and is most often felt when descending stairs, running or riding a bike. The pain usually appears when a new activity is started or after months of inactivity. 

Indeed, each flexion of the ilio-tibial knee is solicited. The tendon moves back and forth, hence the name "windscreen wiper syndrome" and can therefore create inflammation if the movement is not done correctly or if another factor comes into play (flat feet, pelvic tilt, posture for example). Moreover, if this inflammation is not treated in time and correctly, it will become more and more important and complications may appear.

What factors contribute to this injury?

For a person who starts a physical activity too abruptly, his body will have difficulty adapting to the effort and the muscular and joint constraints. As the training sessions progress, inflammation will appear until an injury occurs. It is also well known that shoes worn in everyday life are the primary cause of injuries during physical activity. For example, a woman who wears high heels all day long at work and puts on a pair of sneakers to go for a run at night.

The molleta muscles will have difficulty adapting to the stretch created when the foot is moved from the heel pair or the muscles are "shortened" to the pair of sneakers or the foot is laid almost flat. It is therefore essential to vary your heel heights by wearing different shoes every day. (Also for men who spend their day in suits). The factor that can also be the cause of some injuries and the surface on which the person trains most often. Indeed, hard surfaces such as roads or gravel should be avoided when resuming physical activity. It is advisable to train on lawns, forests, dirt roads.

How should a wiper syndrome be treated?

Burning sensation means inflammation, so rest. Ice should be applied 20 minutes every two hours if possible to really reduce this inflammation. It is then advisable to do a few sessions of physiotherapy to completely eliminate the inflammation in the knee but also to find the exact cause of this injury, because muscle compensations, flat feet or hip rotation can be the primary cause of a wiper syndrome. In this case, why not perform a biomechanical analysis to determine the cause?

Secondly, if your doctor/physician/physician thinks that orthopaedic inserts are necessary, the podiatrist will be the person to consult in order to make a custom-made pair. Finally, from your home, some exercises can be performed in a simple way and without buying any musculature or rehabilitation equipment. For example to release the tibial bandage, stretching with the help of a foamroller or simply a rolling pin.

Perrine Evans

A former athlete and graduate in Sports Kinesiology from the University of Central Missouri (USA), I am passionate about biomechanical analysis of running and postural analysis.