Iliotibial band syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome – also commonly known as “runners’ knee” is one of the most common injuries runners develop!

As the weather improves and we start to get back to our outdoor activities or if you are someone who runs on a regular basis, you understand that you are going to develop aches and pains from time to time, but you also probably understand the difference between general soreness and an injury.

Iliotibial band syndrome otherwise shortened to IT band syndrome is commonly diagnosed when people have overstrained the pelvis and the surrounding muscles, making them tight and impeding normal movement, thus leading to chronic discomfort.

Fortunately, there is help at hand! There are treatment techniques that Chiropractors use to help with this condition. Keep reading to find out what IT band syndrome is and how exactly a Chiropractor can help.

What is Iliotibial band syndrome?

IT band syndrome is a painful condition where a tendon called the iliotibial band gets irritated or swollen from rubbing against the knee or hip bones.

This particular tendon is located on the outside of the leg and runs from the top of the pelvic bone down to the outside of the knee. Overuse and repetitive bending and extending of the knees usually cause this type of injury.

It occurs when the IT band becomes tight, irritated, or inflamed, this tightness in turn causes friction on the outside of the knee and can even lead to referred hip pain.

What causes IT band syndrome?

  • Hip abductor weakness – abduction of the hip is when the hip turns away from the body. A weakened ability to rotate the hip might cause tension in the iliotibial band.
  • Faulty biomechanics such as foot overpronation – the foot over-flattens as you move, which can put strain on the muscles and tendons.
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes.
  • Not stretching enough before a work-out.
  • Cooling down too quickly after exercising.
  • Running downhill.
  • Pushing yourself too hard during exercise.
  • Knee arthritis – can cause the knees to move outwards even when the feet are touching, also known as bow legs.
  • Running on a tilted or curved surface.
  • Pre-existing IT band tightness or prior injury.
  • Excessive sitting.
  • Unbalanced leg lengths.


If you have developed this condition, there are a variety of symptoms that might appear. As with other conditions, symptoms can vary widely in severity and scope, depending on the individual, however some of the most common symptoms of IT band syndrome include:

  • Pain that feels like a stabbing or throbbing on the outside of the thigh, hip, or knee.
  • Clicking, snap or a pop on the outside of the knee when moving.
  • Pain that gets worse after running, particularly after climbing stairs, running hills, or running up an incline.
  • Pain that restricts normal range of motion.
  • The knee might look discoloured and feel warm to the touch.

How can your Chiropractor help?

Even if you are experiencing pain in the knee, the actual problem could be in the pelvis! The Chiropractors here at Heale’s Clinics can assess your condition and check to see if the pelvis is functioning properly.

Specific spinal adjustments along with other chiropractic treatments can bring the body back into alignment and make the pelvis more functional.

Hip and knee adjustments aimed at restoring function, along with active release techniques, dry needling, and ultrasound to provide pain relief, can all be incorporated.

Every treatment plan will be customised to the individual patient to optimise healing and help prevent future occurrences.

The most important thing is to have the injury treated as soon as possible as prompt treatment reduces the chances of developing chronic IT band syndrome!

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or