Iliotibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome (Runners Knee)

Iliotibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome - Runners Knee - treatment at The White House Physiotherapy Clinic

The Iliotibial band (ITB) is a fibrous band extending from the hip to the outside of the knee. It is involved in stabilising the hip and knee, particularly in activities such as running.

The ITB may become tight for a number of reasons. This can cause pain down the side of the leg and cause friction where the band crosses the outside of the knee joint.

This is termed ITB Friction Syndrome, also known as ‘runner’s knee’

This pain is often worse on going down slopes or stairs and getting up from a seated position. It is a common complaint seen in physiotherapy sports injury clinics.

There are many causes of “runner’s knee”: tight ITB, poor foot biomechanics (e.g. overpronation), leg length difference, tight muscles (such as Hamstrings, Calves, Gluteals, Quadriceps and Hip Flexors), weak hip stabilising muscles and poor core stability, overtraining and incorrect footwear.

Self treatment that may be helpful initially:

  • Icing
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
  • Massage to the outside of your thigh
  • Rest from aggravating activities.

If your knee pain persists it is worth having a Physiotherapist accurately diagnose and assess the area. Physiotherapy treatment may include:

  • Massage to the ITB and other tight muscles
  • Advice on a specific strengthening and stretching program

There are also many preventative measures that your physiotherapist may advise you on and these include:

  • Strengthening work for the hip and knee and core muscles.
  • Stretches for tight muscles.
  • Shoe advice and or orthotics.
  • Advice on cross training, and avoidance of overtraining



The White House Physiotherpay Clinics