Anti-inflammatory and combined antiinflammatory/ analgesic medication in the early management of iliotibial band friction syndrome A clinical trial

  • M. P. Schwellnus
  • L. Theunissen
  • T. D. Noakes
  • S. G. Reinach


Forty-three athletes presenting with unilateral iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS) were randomly divided into three groups for the first 7 days of treatment (placebo-controlled, double-blind): 1 - placebo (N = 13); 2 - anti-inflammatory medication (N = 14) (Voharen; Geigy); and 3 - analgesicl anti-inflammatory combined medication (N =. 16) (Myprodol; Rio Ethicals). All subjects rested from day 0 to day 7 and all groups received the same physiotherapy outpatient treatment programme from day 3 to day 7. On days 0, 3 and 7 the subjects performed a functional treadmill running test (maximum 30 minutes) during which they reported pain (scale 0-10; 0 = no pain, 10 = unbearable pain) each minute. Total running distance, total running time and the area under the pain v. time curve was calculated. Daily 24-hour recall pain scores were also recorded. The 24-hour recall pain scores decreased significantly for all the groups over the treatment period. This method of assessing efficacy of treatment therefore failed to show differences between groups. In contrast, during the running test only group 3 improved their total running time and distance from day 0 to day 7, whereas in all the groups the area under the pain v. time curve decreased from day 0 to day 7. All the other groups improved total running time and running distance from day 3 to day 7. All three treatment modalities are effective in the early. treatment of ITBFS but physiotherapy in combination with analgesicl anti-inflammatory medication is superior. A functional running test, which is more sensitive than conventional pain-recall· methods in assessing efficacy of treatment in this type of clinical trial, is described.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135