Home > Blog > Physiotherapy > Conditions > Hip Pain & Knee Pain > Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial Band Syndrome Physiotherapy
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common causes of knee
pain, particularly in individuals involved in endurance sports such as
- running (including athlons like biathletes and triathletes)
In fact, ITB
accounts for up to 12% of running injuries and up to 24% of cycling
Iliotibial band syndrome is typically managed conservatively with physical
therapy and temporary activity/exercise modification.
first of all, What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)?
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) typically happens when excessive irritation causes
pain at the outside (or lateral) part of the knee.
The iliotibial band
(ITB), often called as the "IT band" is a type of soft tissue that
runs along the side of the thigh from the pelvis all the way to the knee.
As it nears and approaches the knee, its shape thickens as it crosses a prominent area
of the thigh bone (the femur), called the lateral femoral condyle.
At or near the
pelvis, the ITB attaches to 2 important hip muscles, the tensor fascia latae
(TFL) and the gluteus maximus.
Irritation and inflammation arise from friction between the ITB and
underlying structures when an individual moves through repetitive
straightening (extension) and bending (flexion) of the knee.
Most of the time, iliotibial band syndrome pain happens with overuse during activities such as running and
ITBS involves many lower extremity structures, including muscles, bones, and other soft tissues, the number #1 discomfort arises from:
- Abnormal contact between the ITB and thigh (femur) bone
- Poor alignment and/or muscular control of the lower body
- Prolonged pinching (compression) or rubbing (shearing) forces during repetitive activities
The common structures involved in ITBS are:
- Iliotibial band
- Bursa (fluid-filled sack that sits between bones and soft tissues to limit friction)
- Hip muscles
ITBS typically occur in but is not limited to:
- Athletes who performs repetitive activities, such as squatting
- Atheletes who participate in endurance sports such as running and cycling
- Individuals who spend long periods of time in prolonged positions,
such as sitting or standing for a long workday, climbing or squatting,
- Individuals who quickly start a new exercise regimen without proper warm-up, transition or preparation
Signs and Symptoms
With ITBS, you may experience:
- Stabbing or stinging pain along the outside of the knee
- A feeling of the ITB “snapping” over the knee as it bends and straightens
- Swelling near the outside of your knee
- Occasionally, tightness and pain at the outside of the hip
- Continuous pain following activity, particularly with walking,
climbing, or descending stairs, or moving from a sitting to standing
ITBS pain is usually most intense when the knee is in a slightly bent
position, either right before or right after the foot strikes the
ground as this is the point where the ITB rubs the most over the femur.
How Is iliotibial band syndrome Diagnosed?
Our senior physiotherapist will ask you questions about your medical
history and activity regimen.
A physical examination will be performed
so that we can collect information on
- movement (range of motion)
- flexibility measurements at the hip, knee, and ankle
When dealing with ITBS, it is also common for our senior physical therapist to
use special tests and complete a movement analysis, which will provide
information on the way that you move and how it might contribute to your
This could include assessment of
- walking or running mechanics
- foot structure and
We may have you repeat the
activity that causes your pain to see firsthand how your body moves when
you feel pain. If you are an athlete, we might also ask you
- chosen sports, activities or exercises
- shoes you wear for training
- training routes and
- exercise routine
Typically, medical imaging tests, such as x-ray and MRI, are not needed to diagnosis ITBS.
how our senior physiotherapists can help you
We will use treatment strategies to focus on:
Range of motion
Often, abnormal motion of the hip and knee and foot joint can cause
ITBS because of how the band attaches to hip muscles. We
will assess the motion of your injury leg compared with expected normal
motion and the motion of the hip on your uninvolved leg.
Hip and core weakness can cause, aggravate and contribute to ITBS.
The "core" refers to
the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and pelvis. Patients need to note that core strength is
important, as a strong midsection will allow greater stability through
the body as the arms and legs go through various motions.
performing endurance sports, it is important to have a strong core to
stabilize the hip and knee joints during repetitive leg motions. We will be able to determine which muscles are weak and
provide specific exercises to target these areas.
Our senior physiotherapists are trained in manual therapy, which means
they use their hands to move and manipulate muscles and joints to
improve motion and strength. These techniques can target areas that are
difficult to treat on your own.
We may also use the following:
Even when an individual has normal motion and strength, it is
important to teach the body how to perform controlled and coordinated
movements so there is no longer excessive stress at the previously
We will develop a functional
training program specific to your desired activity. This means creating
exercises that will replicate your activities and challenge your body to
learn the correct way to move.
We will also work with you to develop an
individualized treatment program specific to your personal goals. We will offer tips to help you prevent your injury from reoccurring.
Back to Top
Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
do Tell Your Family, Friends And Colleagues About Us =)
We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.
We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.