[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Why does the outside of your knee hurt? Conquering IT Band Syndrome.

JulieG_thumbby Julie Grabandt, PT

What is the IT Band?

The IT (Iliotibial) band is a long band of tissue that runs the length of the outside of your leg. It starts up at the hip and ends on the outside of the knee. This tissue is very dense and thick and can become irritated in many different ways.

What are the symptoms of IT band syndrome?

anatomyThe most common symptom of IT band syndrome is pain at the outside of the knee or pain and tenderness along the length of the IT band. It is often referred to as a “snapping hip” due to rubbing of the band over a bony prominence on the outside of the hip. Some people experience pain during activity, and others only have pain after activity. The pain can also be present all of the time and never really go away.

What causes IT band syndrome?

The IT band can become irritated due to a change in activity, running on the same side of the road, hip and core musculature weakness, inappropriate form with running, or pelvic malalignment. Symptoms can also present themselves after a fall on the outside of the hip which causes swelling and inflammation.

What are the Treatments?

foam rollerstretching2stretching1 There are various forms of treatment for IT band syndrome. Stretching, strengthening and stabilization of the hip and core musculature are essential. Additionally, icing and taping may help with the pain and inflammation. Foam rollers can also be used to assist with decreasing tissue tension and in many cases our therapists can perform ultrasound and manual therapy to assist with inflammation and pain. The therapists at Southwest Health are trained in instrument assisted soft tissue massage to help decrease pain and stiffness. This is a more aggressive form of treatment that can only be performed by a professional who is trained in the appropriate technique.


If you are experiencing symptoms of IT Band Syndrome it is important to contact your physician for a possible referral to therapy or other treatment.

Julie Grabandt, PT
Physical Therapist
(608) 342-4748
View my profile

Leave a Comment