Skip to main content

What Is ITB Syndrome (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)?

Learn what ITB Syndrome is in this Howcast video about physical therapy exercises for the knees.


ITB syndrome is a common thing we find in the clinic. It's a very sharp and painful type of injury, although it does get better with some rehab in the clinic. ITB syndrome stands for your iliotibial band and that is your tissue that runs along the lateral side of your leg, stemming from your hip and running all the way down to the knee. It is a common area of friction and injury at the knee and the hip and most commonly at the knee. Especially with your running population or your population that does a lot of repetitive exercise.

It does sound a lot worse than it is. It sounds like a terrible thing that takes months and months to heal, but really it's a quick healer. It's a month of skilled services or some gym options. The problem is that the band runs, like I said from your hip to your knee and with repetitive exercise it's so close to the bony prominences of your knee and hip that it can cause a lot of friction, a lot of rubbing. Eventually, that friction can lead to some heat and the heat can lead to some pain and inflammation.

At worst it's very sharp and very, very painful and the idea at that time is to let it rest, as best as you can. Icing and medications, as needed. Once you've let it rest a little bit and it's calmed down a little bit, it does tend to get a little tight and that's when stretching it out comes in. Using the foam roller to stretch it out is one option, as well as trying to strengthen the outside of your leg, as well with some side leg raises and some side-lying inner thigh raises as well, to balance out the hip. But by and large, it's called a syndrome. It sounds a lot worse than it is, but it's very, very treatable with some rest at first, followed by some stretching techniques that are a little painful, but I think are very, very effective.

Popular Categories