Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Your Injury

Iliotibial band syndrome is the irritation of the distal part of the ITB on the outside of the knee.


The iliotibial band (ITB) is a tendinous structure on the side of the thigh that is involved in knee extension, moving the hip sideways and stabilisation of the leg during running. Iliotibial band syndrome is common in sports such as running and cycling and is thought to be caused by the repetitive friction of the ITB over the femur at the knee joint causing irritation, inflammation and pain.

Signs & Symptoms

May include:

  • Pain on the outside of your knee during activity.
  • Pain aggravated by walking downstairs or downhill, or when swinging the leg forwards.
  • You may notice a thickening or area of swelling around the outside of your knee.
  • Runners may experience a gradual increase of pain during a run.

Conventional Treatment

May include:

  • Modification of activities that aggravate symptoms further (e.g. exercise).
  • Oral pain relief is often recommended by GPs, such as paracetamol (with or without codeine), or a non steroidal anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen.
  • Individuals may be referred for Physiotherapy or Osteopathy to optimise knee joint function and strengthen surrounding muscles through targeted exercises.
  • Physiotherapy and Podiatry may also be worthwhile for advice and education regarding your running technique and footwear.
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