Iliotibial Band (IT Band) Syndrome


Iliotibial band syndrome is pain and swelling of the iliotibial band (also called the IT band). This is a band of tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh. It connects the side of your hip to the side of your knee. It helps keep your knee and hip stable and in their normal position.

When you have IT band syndrome, you may feel pain on the outside of your hip. It happens as your IT band snaps back and forth over the bony point of your hip. Sometimes you may only feel pain on the outside of your knee.

You can get this syndrome if the IT band is too tight or if you do certain activities over and over that put pressure on your hip or knee. This is a common problem in runners, cyclists, and people who do other aerobic activities.

IT band syndrome is treated with rest and medicines. These relieve swelling and pain. Physical therapy is also used. It may include stretching or doing certain exercises that can help strengthen your IT band and hip muscles. Sometimes a steroid shot is given to help relieve pain at the spot that is most sore.