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illiotibial Band Syndrome – IT HURTS!

illiotibial Band Syndrome – IT HURTS!

So lets get down into this! Do not Panic

First off I am not providing medical advice or anything just what has worked for me!

What is ITBS?

Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia on the lateral aspect of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, as it moves from behind the femur to the front of the femur during activity. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.

Why do we get ITBS?

I can really only talk out of my Experience with ITB and trail running which is quite extensive. I battled about 3 Months before going to see my Physio to find out what the problem was. So for you beginners battling all these things with weird names its quite simple. Your knee will hurt like someone is jabbing a knife in there BUT the problem is not you knee! Please read that again!

My  ITB stemmed from Overuse ( Increasing KM’s to fast) and because of tight hips and glutes. My problems were all in the piriformis and glutes! Now you will say but that doesn’t make sense!!!????###

The low down is that the ITB is connected like this.. see where the blue arrows are? problems usually come from there.



How do i make this go away!?

Basically if you are reading this you probably already have it but please do not run anymore. Stop all running and excessive stair climbing.  Sitting at work on a chair all day is also going to increase this problem!

  1. So my first piece of advice is if you can afford it please go and see a physio to determine where or which muscle is pulling on your ITB.
  2. Buy a hockey ball and foam roller – Start rolling your Glutes/TFL/Piriformis and use the hockeyball for the piriformis deep in the butt and roll.
  3. No need to try and roll the IT Band because you are really just wasting your time!
  4. Stretching is so important for the beginner it will be lifesaving so do some.. you can google how to strectch the glutes/piriformis
  5. Give it time!
  6. Strengthen your Legs/hips by doing things like pistol / one legged squats , Lunges / reverse Lunges

The thing is not to treat the symptoms here….look at this thing holistically otherwise you will just pick up more injuries, you are a beginner and you need to strengthen these muscles you have never used before. Trust me you think running downhill on the road is tough? Wait till you hit some awesome  rocky mountain trails and you will thank me for this advice.

There is no one fix for ITBS but you need to get to know your body and in future you will feel and know where the problems are comming from..




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Pieter Steyn

Founder at Ultrarunner_ZA
Big Dreamer...Loving Husband to a beautiful wife :) Runner and Wannabee UltraRunner! Takes life too seriously.
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Big Dreamer...Loving Husband to a beautiful wife :) Runner and Wannabee UltraRunner! Takes life too seriously.

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