RechargeHQ - Sports and Remedial Massage | What is ITB Syndrome?
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What is ITB Syndrome?

What is ITB Syndrome?




What is ITB Syndrome?

  • Pain felt on the outside of the knee, often described as an ache increasing to sharper pain with activity, and pain when bending or straightening the knee (also particularly whilst weight bearing).
  • On more severe cases, swelling can be seen on the outside of the knee, and a grinding sound when bending or straightening knee.

Who and when can it most commonly afflict?

  • Runners
  • Hikers
  • Cyclists
  • when weight lifting (especially squats)
  • walking up and down stairs
  • Jumping

What is the ITB?

  • ITB (Iliotibial Band) is a long band of connective tissue/ligament that originates from the TFL (Tensor Fascia Latae) and Gluteus Maximus, and runs down the outside of the thigh from hip to shin, crossing the knee joint.
  • Near the knee the band narrows and rubbing can occur between the band and bone.
  • As the knee bends and straightens, the ITB flicks over the bony prominence causing the ITB or local tissue to become damaged or inflamed.
  • The ITB is the band that stabilises the knee whilst running.

What can contribute towards it?

  • Overuse
  • Running downhill or running on banked surfaces
  • Worn out or inappropriate footwear
  • Poor technique and excessive or inappropriate training/activity
  • Tight muscles – TFL, Gluteus Maximus, Vastus Lateralis.
  • Poor pelvic core or stability
  • Muscle strength imbalances or muscle weakness, especially Vastus Medialis and Gluteal muscles

 What to do about it?

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
  • Take time off or decrease mileage until pain free
  • Cross train instead – eg. Swim, pool run
  • Massage can be very helpful in loosening tight TFL, Glutes, Quadriceps and Hamstring muscles
  • Use of an ITB Foam Roller
  • Side stretches (refer to ‘Use of Foam Roller for ITB Syndrome’)
  • Warm up properly before exercising
  • Check your technique and training schedule
  • Check your shoes
  • Strengthen pelvic core and weak muscles


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