IT Band Syndrome Care - Little Rock | Pinnacle Physical Therapy

IT Band Syndrome Treatment

IT Band Syndrome

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

IT band syndrome, also known as iliotibial band syndrome, is a common overuse injury resulting from inflammation of the iliotibial band, which runs down the outside of your thigh connecting your hips to your knees and providing stability during movement. It’s often caused by repetitive movements like running or hiking over long distances, but it can occur in other sports as well and at other times of the year too.

Common Causes

While IT band syndrome has many possible causes, there are three primary ones that seem to crop up more often than others. 

  • The most common cause of IT band syndrome is a muscle imbalance in your lower leg. As a result of running or walking too much without giving your legs time to rest and recover from their workouts (or simply as a result of aging), it becomes increasingly difficult for one set of muscles to keep up with their opposing set. This results in an overuse injury—and likely some pain and discomfort along your outer thigh.

  • Another common cause of IT band syndrome is an improper gait while you’re running or walking. If you tend to overpronate (your foot rolls inward when you walk) or underpronate (your foot rolls outward when you walk), then you could be putting additional stress on your outer thigh—especially if you don’t wear proper shoes.

  • Finally, tightness in your hip flexors can also contribute to IT band syndrome symptoms. When your hip flexors are tight, they pull on other parts of your body, including your pelvis and thighs. Over time, these pulls can lead to imbalances throughout other parts of your body—including those surrounding your IT bands.

Common Symptoms

The most common symptoms of IT band syndrome are pain in your knees or shins. This is a result of inflammation in your iliotibial band or surrounding tissue. You may experience a popping sensation as you bend your knee. When running, it’s not uncommon to hear a clicking sound when you rotate your foot inward. Some people also report swelling around their knee joint and even difficulty bending their leg at all. 

If left untreated, IT band syndrome can lead to serious problems such as compartment syndrome or stress fractures in your tibia. It’s important to seek treatment if you think you have IT band syndrome!

How Pinnacle Can Help

pinnacle mountain white

Many runners experience IT band syndrome at some point in their careers. It refers to the iliotibial band—the tendon running along outside of our legs from hip to knee. This area is particularly susceptible to injury because it is constantly put under stress during running. 

At Pinnacle Physical Therapy, we can help relieve pain from IT band syndrome by treating muscle tightness and encouraging increased flexibility. We also offer strengthening exercises for your core muscles, which play a vital role in stabilizing your pelvis and spine. By addressing these factors, you’ll be able to get back on track quickly!

Scroll to Top