Iliotibial Band Syndrome


IT band syndrome is a non-traumatic overuse injury of the knee caused by frequent flexion and extension of the knee, causing irritation in the structures surrounding the knee.

  1. The iliotibial tract is a thick band of fascia that runs at the lateral aspect of the thigh from the iliac crest and inserts on the knee
  2. It consists of dense fibrous connective tissue from the m. tensor fasciae latae and m. gluteus maximus.
  3. Its etiology is frequently multifactorial.


  1. Generally it occurs in long distance runners and commonly in athletes with repetitive flexion- extension activities of knee joint.
  2. Weakness of hip abductors also causes ITBS as there weakness leads to increase in hip internal and adduction.
  3. Unexpected increases in activity level and Repeated IT band compression causes irritation of the band and leads to ITBS.
Common causes of it band syndrome


  1. Sharp pain is felt on outer aspect of the knee joint when Heel strickes the ground pain radiates to outer surface of thigh or calf.
  2. Pain worsens while running, running down hill or climbing down stairs.
  3. One can experience burning sensation and pain when lateral femoral epycondyle of knee is compressed on flexion or extension.
  4. A click is felt when the band rubs against the knee.
  5. Inflammatory reactions like redness and warmth may be swelling at outer surface of knee.

Physiotherapeutic Interventions

  1. Treatment of ITB Syndrome is usually non-operative, and physiotherapy treatment to be taken into consideration primarily.
  2. The exercises to begin with will relay upon the causative factors received from the subjective and objectives evaluation of the patient.
  3. Relief can be achieved by icing, analgesics and using electrotherapeutic modalities (e.g. TENS, interferential stimulation, ultrasound).
  4. Stretching of excessive tightened muscles of IT band and related structures (e.g. tensor fascia lata, quadriceps, hip abductors, rotators and extensors)
Iliotibial band Syndrome Exercises
  • Sustained myofascial release of itband is most helpful techniques.
  • Sustained myofascial Release
  • Dry needling is also a helpful technique to get relief from trigger points of IT band.
  • Dry needling to ITB trigger points Dry needling to gluteal trigger points
  • Patient can also release trigger point by using foam roller.
  • Foam roll self massage to the ITB
  • Strengthening exercises of hip Lateral stabilizers and hip abductors. To strengthen Gluteus medius Hip hikes can be done.
  • Exercises of hip Lateral stabilizers
  • Strengthening exercises for the external hip rotators Exercise involves the patient standing on one leg and slowly performing a squat maintaining pelvic stability
  • External Hip Rotators Exercise
  • Hip abduction in side lying:
  • Hip abduction in side lying