How to treat Iliotibial Tract Syndrome or Runners knee

Iliotibial Tract Syndrome

Have you been treating Iliotibial Tract Syndrome (ITB) or Runners Knee? Are you suffering from pain on the outside of your knee which gets worse either during or after exercise?

Iliotibial Tract Syndrome is effectively a repetitive strain injury and it’s a chronic condition which gets worse with exercise and generally feels a little bit better when you rest it but tends not to go away without treatment. Now the good news is it’s quite an easy condition to treat. It’s not a serious condition, but it can be painful and it will stop you from doing your favourite sport or an exercise that you love or feel passionate about.

What is Iliotibial Tract Syndrome?

Effectively the Iliotibial Tract is a piece of connective tissue. So this is our side on view of the leg, and this is the Iliotibial Tract here, and it’s a piece of tendon; a little bit like a thick piece of elastic band that runs down from the top of the pelvis. It runs down the side of the femur and it inserts onto the tibia here and that’s the bone that sits underneath the knee joint.

Now when you run, what happens is if the Iliotibial Tract is shortened or tight it rubs over the lateral condyle of the knee joint so the bone that sits over the joint of the knee and it becomes irritated and sore. So as you can imagine the more you use this or the more you run, the friction or the rubbing of the tendon over the bone causes inflammation and pain and the pain causes a contracture and chronic shortening in the muscles.

The other important thing to remember with the iliotibial band is that the gluteus muscle sits on top of it so when the muscle of the glutes become tight and sore it pulls on the ITB the iliotibial tract or iliotibial band, and it makes the condition worse.

Treating Iliotibial Tract Syndrome – how to fix it

If you’ve been treating Iliotibial Tract Syndrome or have some other kind of knee pain then visit our pain assessment tool where you can complete questions about your symptoms and get a likely cause for your pain.

Once you have a likely cause you’ll be able to download a treatment guide, it will tell you everything you need to know about Iliotibial Tract Syndrome. It will help you to manage the pain and more importantly it will tell you how to rehabilitate this problem to stop it coming back.

Start your Pain Assessment Get the Treatment Guide

Watch the Iliotibial Tract Syndrome video here

Other resources

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?