IT Band Syndrome

IT band syndrome, also known as ITBS or runner’s knee, is an overuse injury that affects the iliotibial band—a stretch of soft tissue extending from the outer hip to the outer knee. When this band becomes excessively stressed and irritated, it induces pain and inflammation, particularly on the outer side of the knee.

Causes of IT Band Syndrome:

IT band syndrome may arise from repetitive strain, insufficient muscle flexibility, and other mechanical imbalances in the body. Such factors lead to the tightening of the IT band, resulting in heightened friction and irritation as the connective tissue rubs against the knee joint during physical activity.

This prevalent injury often surfaces after prolonged sessions of running, cycling, or frequent extended walks. Additional risk factors include anatomical issues like bowed legs or leg-length discrepancy, improper physical training such as running on uneven surfaces, and sports involving substantial knee flexing like rowing or weightlifting with excessive squatting.

Signs and Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome:

Recognizing the symptoms is crucial in identifying IT band syndrome:

  • Pain on the outside of the knee
  • Swelling in the knee
  • Audible snapping or popping sounds from the knee
  • Initial sensations of stinging or needling
  • Gradual progression of pain
  • Pain extending to the outer side of the thigh and hip

Treatment for IT Band Syndrome:

Various treatments are available for IT band syndrome, including:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physiotherapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Surgical interventions to address scarring, inflammation, or lengthen the IT band

Physiotherapy for IT Band Syndrome:

Physiotherapy offers a non-invasive, effective solution for swift recovery from IT band syndrome. At Activa Clinics, our physiotherapists devise personalized treatment plans incorporating diverse therapies:

  • Tailored exercise and stretching programs enhancing leg strength and flexibility
  • Gait analysis to identify biomechanical issues
  • Custom orthotics addressing gait problems and offering proper support
  • Guidance on preventing future issues
  • Related therapies for pain relief and healing:
    • Massage therapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Ultrasound therapy
    • Interferential current therapy (IFC)
    • TENS therapy

Prevention of IT Band Syndrome:

  • Adequate warm-up and stretching before and after physical activities
  • Vary running directions on indoor tracks and avoid consistently running on the same side of a banked road
  • Pay attention to cycling techniques, ensuring pedals and clips are appropriately set up to prevent inward foot rotation.

Cost and Coverage

Like many of our services, our physiotherapy treatments are often covered through employer, auto, or disability insurance. So treatments can be available at little or no cost to you. Get in touch or schedule a consultation to learn more.