Everything You Need to Know About Iliotibial Band Syndrome

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What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is a painful knee injury caused by tightness or inflammation of the iliotibial band of connective tissue that extends from the outside of the hip to the knee. This injury is also sometimes referred to as IT band syndrome, ITBS, or ITB syndrome, and is one of several conditions commonly referenced as runner’s knee. Runners, cyclists, soccer players, and others who suffer these injuries are often prevented from engaging in those activities for several weeks or even months.

The iliotibial band is designed to facilitate movement in the knee joint and provides stability in the knee. Overuse of impact injury in that band can inhibit its normal function, cause pain and swelling, and reduce mobility and range of motion.

What Causes IT Band Syndrome?

This syndrome is typically caused when the leg repeatedly turns inward, due to excessive running, downhill walking or running, and other activities. These activities can cause the IT band to tighten and rub against the bone. That, in turn, can cause irritation and inflammation in the IT band and the fluid-filled bursa in the knee that are designed to help the band smoothly move over the knee. Other factors that can contribute to this injury include:

  • Overexertion and failing to properly rest between activity sessions
  • Not stretching and warming up prior to exercise
  • Wearing old or uneven shoes
  • Knee arthritis
  • Rotating your foot or leg inward during running or walking
  • Weak glutes, hips, or abs

What are the Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome?

For most patients, the most noticeable symptoms are aches and pains on the outside of the knee, above the knee joint. This pain can get progressively worse if you ignore it. Other symptoms may include:

  • Pain extending up into the thigh or down into the upper calf
  • Redness and warmer skin on the outside part of the knee
  • Burning and tenderness in the IT band area
  • A snapping or popping feeling on the outside of your knee

Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should refrain from physical activity that uses the knee and consult a medical professional to prevent additional damage to the knee and IT band.

Osteopathic Treatment of IT Band Syndrome

Fortunately, osteopathic treatment can help you recover from IT band syndrome and return to normal activity. While the condition will usually repair itself in time, osteopathic care can be an effective way to expedite the healing, improve mobility, reduce pain and restore lost quality of life.

IT band treatment can include IT band syndrome exercises, IT band syndrome stretches, and a regimen of ice pack applications, elevation of the knee, and other common therapeutic techniques. Osteopathic care can enhance those strategies by using manual manipulation, and other techniques that relax tight tissue, improve blood flow, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.

Preventing IT Band Injuries

To avoid treatment for IT band injuries, it is important to focus on prevention. Common prevention strategies can include:

  • Train smartly. That means focusing on proper technique and increasing running distance or other milestones incrementally.
  • Warm up before any activities that rely on repetitive knee movements.
  • Stretch before and after exercise
  • Strengthen your glute, thighs, abdomen, and lower back to reduce the load on your IT band
  • Wear proper-fitting shoes that are in good condition
  • Run on flat pavement

Contact Us Today

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of IT band syndrome, contact Leonid Tafler, D.O. today. We will work with you to schedule an appointment that is convenient for you, provide an examination and diagnosis, and develop an osteopathic treatment plan that reduces your pain, improves mobility, and gets you back on the path to a healthier and more satisfying lifestyle.

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Runner's Knee: Your Return to Running
Three Common Injuries that Plague Runners
Everything You Need to Know About Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Return to Running After an ITB Injury
Dealing with Long-Term ITBS

Everything You Need to Know About Iliotibial Band Syndrome Reviews

Margaret Sowa
Margaret Sowa
Hotel General Manager Brooklyn, NY

Through the years, every one treated by Dr. Tafler has had very positive and lasting results. I can't thank him enough for myself, my mom and for every dear person to my heart I sent to him. 🙂 Thank you Doctor! Words can't express what you've done and how many lives have changed. God bless you.

Boris Talis
Boris Talis
Four-time champion of the world in Sambo Combat. Black belt 6th Degree

I am a whole hardheartedly grateful to Dr.Tafler for this timely help in recovering the moving function of my shoulder joint. This helped me a win a gold medal and become the Champion of the world in Sambo combat in Greece 2012. I always tell my collegues and student to turn to the excellent and kind Dr. Leonid Tafler in case of any accident or injury.


Dr. Tafler started working with me though acupuncture, back adjustments and immediately I saw the progress and my pain was less and less with every visit to the doctor. I avoided a surgery thanks to Dr Tafler. I started to enjoy my life again. I am so thankful to the doctor, and have been recommending Dr Tafler to all my friends and coworkers who have back problems and other pains.

Thomas Rayder

Dr. Tafler recommended the OMT under anesthesia procedure. The procedure was performed and alleviated my pain immediately. I avoided surgery and have not had problems with my neck in 7 years now! I am so thankful to Dr. Tafler, the OMT under anesthesia procedure helped me so much!

Elizabeth Blend

Dr. Tafler took me in for a weekend to receive manipulation under anesthesia. Two weeks later I was able to walk without pain. I have been pain free since that moment until today, many years after initial treatment. Without his treatment I do not know if I would have been able to walk at all.

Hugo Barriga

Doctor Tafler, was my savior and there is not doubt he give me my back life; this OMT under anesthesia definitely recommend to everyone, this improve my back and relief a chronic pain. Try this before any aggressive treatment, this was over 5 years ago and I feel splendidly.


Two weeks ago I came to his office. He is a very nice and very pleasant man. I told him about a terrible pain in my back. He gave me two injections and I was able to walk a lot better. I felt myself at my twenties. When I went for the second treatment under anesthesia, I was running up the stairs at my church. All my friends got very happy for me. So, I believe, this man is a hero! If not him, I would not be able to walk!