How to Treat Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome

ITB Syndrome is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The iliotibial band begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint. The band functions in coordination with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome occurs when there is irritation to this band of fibrous tissue. The irritation usually occurs over the outside of the knee joint, at the lateral epicondyle (the end of the femur bone). The iliotibial band crosses bone and muscle and this point; between these structures is a bursa which should facilitate a smooth gliding motion. However, when inflamed, the iliotibial band does not glide easily, the pain associated with the movement is the result.

Symptoms include anterolateral knee pain and possibly pain at the outside of the thigh. Pain worsens on activity and resolves on rest.

Treatment begins with proper footwear, icing the area regularly for 10 minutes, stretching with a foam roller (see video), limiting exercise; anti-inflammatories (talk to your GP); taping of the patella (knee cap).

Physiotherapy can make a significant difference in the management and treatment of ITBS. If you have any further queries please contact your local Chartered Physiotherapist or GP or contact us by email

Scroll to Top