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Iliotibial band (ITB) pain

What is Iliotibial band (ITB) pain? 


Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury resulting from the inflammation of the ITB. It occurs when the ITB and the lower outside portion of the thigh bone at the knee joint rub against each other. It commonly occurs in athletes, cyclists, and runners.




Iliotibial band syndrome may include pain on the outside of the knee at the beginning of exercise which continues through the exercise. Sometimes it’s specific movements - like running downhill and having the knee bent for prolonged periods of time - that causes this knee band pain. Some patients describe it as an ache in the knee. 




There are many contributing factors to this condition, including: 

  • Poor running mechanics or style

  • Weaker proximal hip muscles

  • Poor foot placement during activity 

  • Referred issues due to tightness in the hip and knee




Shockwave therapy (lithotripsy) can be used to reduce pain through its direct effects on pain receptors in the leg, whilst additional collagen and blood vessel formation is promoted to support the body healing and supporting itself to recover. 


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In-depth Information


The iliotibial band (or iliotibial tract) is a long fibrous tendon that reinforces the upper leg and connections near the buttocks. It enables the flexing and extending, in a circle of motion, of the hip. It also stabilises the knee to sideways motions. Due to its stabilising effects in the legs, it is used constantly during walking and running. When a person is leaning forwards with a slightly flexed knee, the ITB is the knee's main support against gravity.


IT band pain relief can be also supported by: 

  • Avoid training on rough or uneven surfaces

  • Don’t skip cooling down and stretching after activity 

  • Slowly increase distance or effort over sessions - don’t push too far too quickly 

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