Iliotibial band (IT Band) Syndrome is a common cause of lateral knee pain due to inflammation of the distal IT band. This can be due to hip weakness, high weekly mileage running, intervals, and weakness of knee flexors/extensors and hip abductors. The best treatments include stretching and strengthening.
-Lie on your side with legs bent approximately 90 degrees, feet together.
-Lift your top leg while keeping knee bent and feet together.
-Lower your leg back down
-Repeat 10-15 times.
As this becomes too easy you can progress to Clamshells with band (Image)
Lateral band Walk
Place a resistance band just above your ankles. Stand with your feet just far enough apart that the resistance band does not have any slack in it. Take three steps to the side never allowing your band to have any slack.
Bridge with resistance band
Place a resistance band around your thighs closest to your knees. Lie on your back and bend your knees90degrees placing both feet flat on the ground, hip distance apart. Lift buttock off the floor while pulling knees away from each other trying to keep your trunk in a straight line from your shoulders to your hips.
Lie on back with right leg bent at 90 degrees. Cross the left leg over your right, so the outside of your leftankle is resting on your thigh just above the knee. Wrap both hands around your mid right thigh and pull towards you. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then rest. Do this several times trying to bring the leg closer each time. Alternate and do the same on the other side.
Hip flexor stretch
Kneel and then bring left leg forward, so you are resting on right knee/right shin and left foot. Bring yourhips forward but be sure to keep your left knee above or slightly behind your left ankle at all times. Do this for 20-30 seconds at a time, repeat several times and then alternate to the other leg. If this becomes too easy and you need a better stretch you can reach back and pull your back foot towards your buttock.
IT band stretch
Place a belt or rope around your right foot while lying on your back. Straighten your right leg and use the rope to pull your leg across to the left side of your body.
- Beals, C., & Flanigan, D. (2013). A Review of Treatments for Iliotibial Band Syndrome in the Athletic Population. Journal of sports medicine (Hindawi Publishing Corporation), 2013, 367169. doi:10.1155/2013/367169
- Figure 1. IT Band. Reprinted from In Motion Running, 2020, retrieved from,https://inmotionrunning.com/healthy-running/2020/treating-common-injuries-iliotibial-band-syndrome/
- Figure 2. IT Band Syndrome. Reprinted from Runner’s World, 2018, retrieved from, https://www.runnersworld.com/it-band-syndrome/
- Figure 3. Clamshells. Reprinted from PhysioCare, 2016, retrieved from, http://physiocarept.com/exercises-to-combat-it-band-syndrome/
- Figure 4. Lateral band Walk
- Figure 5. Bridge with resistance band. Reprinted from Max Sports Therapy, retrieved from, http://maxsportstherapy.co.uk/news/best-exercises-to-prevent-acl-injury/
- Figure 6. Piriformis stretch. Reprinted from PhysioCare, 2016, retrieved from, http://physiocarept.com/exercises-to-combat-it-band-syndrome/
- Figure 7. Lunge hip flexor stretch. Reprinted from Enhance Physio Therapy, 2015, https://www.enhancephysiotherapy.net.au/psoas-muscle/
- Figure 8. IT Band Crossover Stretch. Reprinted from Physical Therapy First, 2020, https://www.physicaltherapyfirst.com/mobile-it-band-stretch/
- Figure 9. IT band Rolling. Reprinted from Harvard Health Publishing, 2017, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/roll-away-muscle-pain
- Figure 10 IT band standing stretch. Reprinted from Fit Physical Therapy, 2019, https://fitphysicaltherapy.com/blogs/welcome-to-our-blog/103637382-5-physical-therapy-exercises-which-reduce-pain-at-the-front-of-the-knee
By Ashley Desmarais and Alee Vladyka