Iliotibial (IT) Band Pain

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It happens when the IT band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed.

Typical symptoms: Any movement of the knee (and, therefore, running) depending on severity can become painful. IT band pain can be severe.

The IT band attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint. When the IT band isn’t working properly, movement of the knee (and therefore running) becomes painful. IT band pain can be severe enough to completely sideline a runner for weeks, or even longer.

iliotibial band syndrome

Because the most notable symptom is typically swelling and pain on the outside of the knee or hip many runners mistakenly think they have a specific hip or knee injury.

The best way to tell if you have ITBS is to bend your knee at a 45-degree angle. If you have an IT band problem, you’ll feel pain on the outside of the knee.

Once you notice ITB pain, the best way to get rid of it for good is to rest immediately and then cross-train. Swimming, pool running, cycling, and rowing are all fine. Stretching will also help, as will ice or heat and ultrasound therapy.