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IT band syndrome

IT Band Syndrome: The Top 5 Causes and Solutions

by Athletico180 Comments

Running season has arrived and a lot of you wanted to hit the ground running, but instead, you hit the ground hurting…hurting on the outside of your knee. If that’s the case, you could have iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) or IT band syndrome for short. IT band syndrome is an overuse injury that is common in endurance athletes like runners and bikers. It affects a tissue that runs from the side of your hip all of the way down past your knee. Most of the time, the inflammation manifests itself as pain on the outside of the knee. It can be incredibly painful and is typically a frustratingly stubborn injury to deal with.

One quick look at the anatomy below can help you realize that the cause of the pain can be anywhere from the hip to the knee, so getting to the root cause can be a little tricky, but here are some solutions to a few of the most common causes of IT band syndrome.

1.  Overuse

Technically, IT band syndrome is an overuse injury. It’s kind of a misleading classification since there are usually other factors than overuse, but approaching IT band syndrome as an overuse injury is an important first step towards recovery. After icing and resting for a few days, you may need to change up your training regimen. Sometimes this can be as easy as avoiding repetition. Try changing your running route or getting away from the treadmill or track for a jog outside. If getting in shape or building up your endurance is your goal, try some cross-training while you slowly ramp up your mileage. Keep in mind that while overuse is usually one of the causes of IT band syndrome, there are usually other factors contributing to your pain, so some of the other interventions below may be necessary.

2.  Tight Tissues

Tight muscles in your hips or along the side of the leg can be a major contributing factor to IT band syndrome. All of these tissues are connected, so even though the location of the pain is in the knee, the hips can very well be the area that need the most attention.

Stretching the IT band and the connected muscle is fairly simple. Just cross your legs, keeping the affected leg in back (position 1). Lean away from the painful leg until you feel a stretch along the side of the leg (position 2). Hold that for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
IT Band Stretch
In addition to stretching I’ve had success by utilizing foam rolling or work with a tennis ball to loosen up tight tissues and release any tightness in your hip muscles. I strongly encourage you to stretch and roll both of your legs as tight tissues on one leg can cause pain on the opposite side. If there still seems to be some lingering tight spots after you try the at-home solutions, you may need to see a professional for some individualized hands-on work.

3.  Weak Hip Muscles

Researchers at Stanford found that weak hip muscles can be one of the biggest reasons people get IT band syndrome. Weak muscles in the hip tend to cause your running form to break down, which puts a lot of stress on the tissues in the knee. To strengthen the muscles most commonly affected, you can try some of the exercises suggested at this link. In addition, another one of my favorites (pictured below) is referred to as “the clam.” While on your side, bend your knees to 90 degrees. Keeping your ankles together, rotate the knee of your tip leg towards the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat 30 times. Again, it’s important to strengthen both legs as one side of the body can easily affect the other.

Clam Exercise for IT Band Syndrome

4.  Poor Running Form

Sometimes getting rid of IT band syndrome can be as simple as changing the way that you run. Having a professional look at your running gait can reveal some problems that you may have never noticed. Some of the more common problems are overstriding (taking too long of steps) and strides that cross over the midline of the body. These are pretty easy to notice and can sometimes be pointed about by an experienced runner. Sometimes, however, the breakdown in form can be more subtle and require something more involved like a video gait analysis.

5.  Shoe or Orthotic Issues

You can correct every issue in your body, but if what comes between your foot and the ground is the cause of your problem, you’ll never see relief. Overworn shoes can cause your foot to land at awkward angles, which transfers a lot of stress up to the knee and hip, so keeping your shoes within their recommended mileage is critical. Also, adjusting to minimalist shoes (or none at all) will require you to adjust your running style, so be sure to do your research and be patient while adjusting. Finally, arch or ankle problems may require you to get orthotics so you can run with a safer gait.

With all of these suggestions, you can expect for improvement to take some time. If your pain lingers for longer than a few weeks, it may be time to talk to a healthcare provider for some more individualized treatment.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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  1. Dean Marquez

    Great article, I’ve always thought I just had hip issues but I learned through re-hab that it was a IT band issue. I recovered last year and completed about 8 triathlons,I was off the last 4 months due to a divorce and just started to train again. My IT band is hurting again. Thanks for your article it will be a great reminder of what I did in re-hab and it will help me get back where I was before.

    I think it may also be caused by an uneven pelvis?

  2. Megan @ Fiterature

    Thanks for sharing all of these details. I’m training for Chicago and have had some slight outer knee issues – immediately grabbed my foam roller and made a date!! The pain went away the next day and has stayed away if I continue to roll!

  3. Chris

    @Dean: good news on the divorce. Now with the healthy hip you can do 10 triathlons next year.

  4. Christy Schafer

    I am an avid tennis players and have been experiencing pain in the hip that often radiates down to the knee area. I did have a lower back strain a couple of years ago and have rehabed that area. Are IT band problems common in tennis players? Thanks

  5. daveheidloff

    @Christy – I’ve seen IT band problems pop up in athletes of almost every sport- tennis players included. If your pain is truly radiating, it would be worth seeing a physician or getting a screen to rule your back out as the source of your pain. Whether it’s your back or not, you would probably benefit from beginning to do the “clam” exercises listed above. If your back is ruled out as the cause, it would definitely be worth getting started on the stretches as well. I hope that helps. Thanks for reading!

  6. Amy Storer

    Has anyone tried the Graston technique? Running has become the love of my life and I am desperate to get back in the groove. So far a few things seem to be working for me. One has been getting the custom orthodics done – expensive as hell – but totally worth it! Like one person mentioned it is a godsend and I could feel the pain dissipate when I put them in my shoes at the store. Acupunture and the cupping technique have mysteriously and incredibly helped my ITBS condition! I highly recommend going to a reliable place that has good reviews.

    I have done the GRaston technqiue two times so far but I am worried that I have been sore and feel the ITB symptoms after but I am told this is normal for a few days… time will tell! Has anyone else had this experience after graston? What did it feel like?

  7. Alberto Douss

    I have this pain on the tight at the upper parts and sometime on the middle!
    I has been in therapy for about 2 month twice per week but I don’t see a result . I can feel better today but next day I can feel the pain. I don’t have a pain on the side of my knee.. They are doing the ultrasound and massage(not deep one). It been about 4 month with me having this..
    Any advise?

  8. Fannie

    I am in constant pain and this is making me miserable. That said, having broken a tailbone in childbirth, it is a pain that I CAN tolerate on a daily basis; I just dont want to. I am a cross trainer. I do lots of strength training. I do not run but my workouts involve a lot of high kicking, deep squats and jumping. My hips feel enflamed. I’ve used Aspercreme and warm baths. I am very limber and stretch daily…. still capable of doing splits and V sits. I actually feel best working out but yesterday the pain radiated all through the afternoon, night and right into this morning. Im guessing this is IT related but everything Ive read indicates that kind of pain is more associated with knees. Guidance?

  9. Julie

    I have had this ITB Pain for about a month . Now I’ve got pain on the inside of my knee and along the front of my knee. Had Physical therapy yesterday and a light massage on lower back last night . Today it’s still painful , it’s on the outside mid thigh to around the inside of my knee. Please Advise. Thanks a lot !

  10. Julie

    I have problems with my knee and now have ITB pain. It starts about mid thigh and the Inside of my knee is painful also . Need advise on what to do about this ongoing pain , I did have a treatment yesterday morning with one of those battery / cortisone pulse patches . Felt somewhat better but don’t know what else to do . Need advise on what to do next .

  11. Annabelle

    I just have one question, it is track season and I started off with shin splints which heals quite quickly. I now have the I T band syndrome but it’s not hurting on my knee it’s on the whole side of my leg. I’m not even sure if it IS I T band syndrome.
    It has been hurting for two weeks now, my first meet was on Thursday and I could not stand it. My coach will only let me do the 1500 m race because of it. I decided after the meet to not run until Monday at my practice which was yesterday. I ended up not going to practice because my parents weren’t home to take me so I ran by myself for an easy run. Within 5 minutes that I started the pain came, I rested but it only seems to be getting worse as it gets.
    I’m starting to think it’s not I T band syndrome but I’m really confused ’cause all of the pain I’m having is described whenever I read about I T band syndrome. I have another meet today and I am not sure if I should even go if it’s getting like this.

  12. Elizabeth

    I have been in pain since Nov. 2012. I am just finishing with my PT and am scheduled for an MRI of my back next week. I am quite confident it is my IT band. Pain is from my hip to my knee. Sleeping is very difficult. Stairs.. getting in and out of a seated position also difiicult. I have just started golf for the season and am in a great deal of pain from the even services and pushing a cart.
    Is there something other than all these stretches that I have been doing for months to help me rid of this pain?

  13. Donna

    Elizabeth does it feel like everything ripples from hip to knee when you lie on your side. This pain is killing me. I have had it since October and need it to be gone. When Isrand up from sittingit moves to the top of my thigh.

  14. Donna

    I have the same feeling. When you sleep does it feel like it shifts down your side? This pain is awful.

  15. Joni

    I have the ITBAND Syndrome , But side of my kneee pops , snaps everytime I get up from sitting , What’s the cause of that ?

  16. Chris

    I have never been a runner and started running just about everyday on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes at a relatively slow 5.0 pace. My pain started in my hips and now has moved to my right knee and no pain in my hips. I feel a popping in my knee when I go from sitting to standing and pain and a little swelling on the outer portion of my knee. I occasionally will have pain on the inside as well. I thought I tore something, but could this be IT syndrome?

  17. Matthew

    I am an under 20 athlete and have competed for Great Britain over the last few years. I had ITB syndrome that appeared December last year, I have recently had it treated and recovered. I had a QuarterZone injection which had sorte the problem out and have seen various physio’ that have said this will work. The problem is that yesterday I went on a 9 mile run and about an hour after I felt the pain that I originally had coming back again, I then later that day noticed I had a bruise around the area I had the injection , (not due to the injection as it was about 4 weeks ago) I need to get back into my training as quick as possible as I am trying to qualify for the world youth championships and need to know some relatively quick solutions! Have booked a physio appointment for the weekend but need some help as I haven’t got much time to get some decent training in!

    Any advice is appreciated!
    Matthew axe

  18. Lynn Stanley

    I am 8 weeks post knee surgery, inner and middle compartments, and am experiencing pain from inner knee up and across to outer hip area. I’ve been told by orthopedist and massage therapist that this pain is along IT band. Does this sound correct? It is not from outer knee. Why would knee surgery affect this? Is this normal?

  19. Dave Heidloff

    @Elizabeth – Sometimes there are other imbalances contributing to your knee pain, which are best assessed by a health care professional. These stretches and exercises cover the most common issues we see. If you’ve been trying these for a while and you aren’t seeing improvement, it may be time to seek further attention. If you’re near one of our clinic, you can set up a complimentary screen. Details are here:

  20. Dave Heidloff

    @Joni – Unfortunately, It’s tough to tell where a sensation like popping is coming from without a physical exam and even then its cause may or may not be obvious. My first guess would be tight muscles in your hips and front & back of your thighs. Is there any pain associated with these pops?

  21. Dave Heidloff

    @Chris – It very well could be IT band syndrome. I’d recommend working on your hip and leg mobility. Unfortunately, there isn’t an overnight cure and it may take a couple of weeks to begin to notice a difference. In the meantime, I’d recommend sticking to pain-free activities and following up with your doctor if the swelling and pain is persistent.

  22. Dave Heidloff

    @Lynn – What kind of surgery did you have? It sounds like you might benefit from seeing somebody in person as there may be some compensations from your surgery that may be contributing to your knee pain that would be tough to pick up on over the internet. It’s an unfortunate limitation of the medium. If you’re close to one of our clinics, we can get a complimentary screen set up to give you some better input. Here’s a link if you’re interested:

  23. ade

    Please help I’ve had this pain and tightness on the outside of my left tie for 1 year and 2 months now and I’m still unable to get rid of it. It’s frustrating because 1) I’m currently seeing a 3rd physio, the first 2 I saw couldn’t solve the problem 2) it’s very tight that sometimes I have to walk very slow never mind running or doing any sport.

    The problem started 48 hours after a gym session doing leg presses, leg extension and cross training. I was walking to the gym and suddenly felt a sharp pain on my knee, then I couldn’t work properly and started limping. I saw the doctor did x ray of knees and hips all was normal. What first physio did to told me to do was form rolling, calf stretching and gave me orthotics, all that did for me was stop me from limping but didn’t return me to walking normally, I left first physio becuase I moved away from that area. I saw second physio and at this point because I have not been walking normally for about 4 months I started having lower back pain, this physio was pretty clueless, he gave me the “clam” exercise and the abductor exercise and no improvement infact the exercises made my back pain worse. He gave up after like 6 weeks. Then doctor sent me to orthopedics he did mri scan saw nothing but little fluid around the knee. He said he’s never done a surgery on IT band and told me physio was the solution.
    He recommended a new physio to me, this new physio took a different approach the first exercise he gave me was leg extension using a particular techinque and told me to always walk with cross training shoes and told me the orthotics was useless if I was just wearing it in a flat shoe moreover he said from experience orthotics isn’t the solution.I started seeing improvement with the leg extension and trainers. The following week he added more exercises step ups,rowing,double leg ball squat,ball lunges. This just made everything worse I was tighter and felt more pain, he realised his mistake and then told me to stop the rowing. I carried on with the other exercises but was still feeling tightness from the exercise. He then thought sport massage will be the best way to get rid of those tightness, I’ve been doing the sport massage for 6 weeks now, I’ve felt some improvement but the progress is VERY slow. Surely this IT band issue shouldn’t be that hard to solve? at least I should be walking normally by now with no pain after 14 months?

  24. jane

    Thanks for the comments and the informstion.
    Iam not a runner and i suffer from IT syndrome, ever since i got my first born 8 years ago.
    What can be i permanent solution , because right know i cannot run up and down.

  25. FALCON

    @ade,hi theare for what you wrote about your problem i have experienced something simular ,to answer directly to your question yes it si posible to suffer form IT BAND FOR SO LONG in my case for more than 20 months,but i was doing in that time hill running espcially downhill,another thing as you said you felt sharp pain in your knee and stated limb from that moment,maybe the reason was you tieghtness ,when IT BAND short it tieght too ,and have impact on knee ,in my case because i wasnt aware of it istarted to pull away my patella.You sholdnt worry at all if your knee and especieally hip x ray or mri were normal,the only suspect is IT BAND,and about exercise you should avoid at all case all exercise that make you more stress on your hip and knee,you need to loose that no to tight more,you would be able again to walk with no problem ,i am doing hill running for one year after injury ,and i feel sometimes tight again if i push too much and started to do exercise again hahah,yea its little frustreted or more then little i know exactly you feel about but you must be patient maybe next mounth or weeks feel imorvment, and i dont know why is happening the medical name is IT BAND SYNDROME OR HIP SNAPPING SYNDROME,but my friend you will be able not to walk just but to run or feel like flying jajaja,sorry for my not perfect english i think you understand my point

  26. Shawna

    Hey, I’m 28 years old fitness model and work at a gym. This is my third “flare-up” as I call it with ITB Syndrome. Each time I am out of commission for 4 months or more. My pain starts on the lateral side of my knee and around the patella tendon. Then I start to notice it lower on my IT band and all the way down to my outer ankle where my calf muscle tightens up and to my big toe where it keeps popping!! I have seen an orthopedist, a chiropractor, and a podiatrist. They have all given me similar answers that correlate to each other. They have helped me conclude that my IT band is way to tight and swollen. It pulls on the knee causing the patella pain and pulls on the peroneus brevis (tendon of the calf) which is all “tacked-Down” to the bone.

    My recovery has been with constant foam rolling and stretching, along with strengthing my hip muscle and completing foot arch exercises. I also have to wear a level 2 knee support brace to help relieve pressure on the IT band and patella tendon until I am fully recovered. For exercise, I have been doing my training on the elliptical when I am not too sore, and a lot of yoga and pilates. It is very important to keep your muscles strong and mobile while you are treating and recovering from issues relating to the IT band.

  27. Paul

    Hi. Just been diagnosed with it strain.and I am Not a runner. Mine is caused by overworking of my leg muscles as a hospital porter (58 and non stop work,as per management orders). And as I don’t exercise, it seems as if the stretching advice on this site is something I need to do, so as to help with any repartition of my injury,as I will not get less duties when I return to work. Any further advice posted,, on how to avoid further injury would be helpful,or to help me over this injury too.. Paul

  28. Rebecca

    My troubles started with a fractured toe that wouldn’t heal. I was in a boot for 3 1/2 months to stabilize it. The toe finally healed but my opposite hip which began to hurt because of my uneven gait is still painful even though I am walking fairly normally now. Do you think the IT band could be my problem?

  29. Elaine

    I had total knee replacement on my left knee in March. Recovery was going great until 2 weeks ago when the outside of left knee started swelling and hurting. Saw my orthopedist this week and he told me I ihad IT band problem and went to my pt appointment and was massaged and given exercises to do.
    Help me since I didn’t expect problems after TKR.
    Thank you.

  30. Dave Heidloff

    @Elaine- Flexibility and gaining range of motion is paramount after a knee replacement. I’d suggest working with your physical therapist and focusing on some IT band work during your sessions. Give your PT some candid feedback on your progress so they can adjust your program.

  31. REVA

    I have just been diagnosed with IT band. Need to know if its possible to get IT band if I dont run. I hardly exercise. What are the chances. I have no idea how i got this – just woke up one morning and now I am always in pain.

  32. Tiff

    I do excersize but not train for marathons. I have had many driving jobs.. Too many. I have problems with mt itb as well.. Its been years. No driving irritates me to death. Cortisone injections. Message. Chiro. Sports therapists. Yoga.. No help.. Not even muscle relaxers help.. HELP

  33. Mando

    Hi, I am a runner and two weeks ago I was diagnosed by my trainer with ITBS. I took two weeks off and stretched,iced and rolled out like 2 times a day. It felt much better and I could walk again so it wasn’t bothering me at all until I started running and quarter mile into it my Knee started to flare up so I stoppped and now it feels the same as the beginning. Any suggestions on what I should do?

  34. Dave Heidloff

    @Maro – It sounds like it could be your running mechanics as you’ve overcome the pain at least once. Perhaps you should have someone take a look at your running form and give you some suggestions on how to prevent this from recurring.

  35. Bernadette

    Lately after my runs my left knee is hurting especially when it cold but the pain goes away no less than an hr. my last two runs I felt pain in my lower hip but I took a warm bath and used a roller and felt better. I notice after a long run I get real stiff. Should I stretch more? Do you think I have itbs?

  36. Dave Heidloff

    @Bernadette – Stretching more is rarely a bad thing, so as long as it doesn’t bother you, I think that’s a good idea. In addition to stretching, foam rolling or getting a massage can do a lot to loosen up stiff tissues that may be contributing to your hip and knee pain. Perhaps adding those into the mix could speed up your recovery.

  37. Pat heath

    I have got dreadfully pain down left side come on after holiday trying to walk in very deep sand so much Worse when trying to get upstairs or just lifting left leg even sitting don’t no whot to do taken ibrufen its not touched it seems to come from left bottom cheek ates can’t put leg towards inside but can move it left no problem can you help please

  38. Kim Levitsky

    I am training for my 3rd marathon and have followed a more aggressive program this time around. I got through an 18 miler without any issues. My next wk was 15 and 10 into it, I got the IT pain for the first time outside of my knee. I walked/ran until I got home. I rested it, iced it, stretched it, foam rolled it, and went for ART. I tried running today (exactly one week after) and it flared again 5 miles into it. I called my husband to pick me up at mile 8. Any chance of recovering enough for my marathon in 3 wks? Any recommendations? I am prepared to drop down to the 1/2 but would love to do the full.

  39. Dave Heidloff

    @Kim – Unfortunately, IT band syndrome can be pretty unpredictable. I’ve seen some people have a small flare-up of pain that subsides quickly with rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and stretching. Others have had to deal with this same issue for quite a while. As always, seeking the advice of a health care professional that can see you in person is ideal. I would say that if you’re still having discomfort leading up to the marathon, it’s always best to err on the side of caution as you don’t want this to turn into a chronic issue.

  40. Chanel

    I exercise on a regular bases but my IT pain is worse during the fall/winter (when the weather starts to turn cool/cold). I stay up all through the night with pain in both legs. It shoots up and down my legs (from the hips to the knees and all places in between). I can feel little knots up and down the legs as well. The pain is intense. It has been happening for the last 5 years. I’ve been to PT, back specialist, massage therapist, personal trainer, etc with nothing but stretching exercises, injections and pain patches coming from the appointment. I don’t have to exercise to have regular and consistent pain with my IT. The weather is changing and my IT pain (especially at night) is getting worst. What do you recommend?

  41. Beverly

    I am not a runner or a walker; I do cardio training an the elypitical 3 times a week for 20 – 30 mins. I also workout with my trainer twice a week and I have been getting monthly body massages. I have extruciating pain in my IT Band muscle on both legs and it’s been there for several months now. I wear good shoes when I workout. I don’t understand why I have this pain.

  42. humera

    I started my slow joggs again but recently about 2 weeks ago notice pain on my left side of hip and pain back/outer side of knee please let me know should I continue to jogg with IT Band streches or discontinue my joggs.

  43. Brittany

    How long will a over use it band heal I’ve had this issue for a couple of mounths and have been wear a brace but last Thursday (not thanksgiving) I had lock it up by playing soccer so could you maybe tell me how long I need to rest I have rest for a week

  44. Randy

    I have run 14 marathons the past 4 years with no problem. I do cross training or rest on off days, I always stretch, I do a yoga remedy for my legs by relaxing with them up along a wall for 10 minutes a day, and I even wear arch supports in my shoes. Before my last marathon I even got a massage the day before the race. On race day, out of the blue I felt pain (6 on a scale of 1 to 10) on the outside of my right knee after the 15th mile. I slowed down and managed to finish the remaining 11 miles but it still hurt afterwards. For the next week and a half I’d feel discomfort in my right knee when getting up or extending my right leg after sitting down relaxed. But I’ve been able to walk fine. I even did leg extension presses at the gym, the elliptical machine, and even biking with no problem. I’ve been tackling this from all angles; foam rolling, heat, cold packs, Epsom salt baths, leg raises, a deep tissue massage, and even taking some ibuprofen. Last Saturday, I went out for my first run since the marathon which was 13 days. I did feel an ache (1 on a scale of 1 to 10) in my right knee after a couple of miles but not on the level I felt during the race so I was able to finish my run. But I’m relaxing it again and resuming the foam rolling and cross training. This is very frustrating and from what I’m reading everywhere online, it sounds like treating this may take forever! I have some races coming up next year and I don’t want to miss them. Any insight?

  45. Dave Heidloff

    @humera – If you’re currently in pain, it’s usually a good idea to try resting and possibly seek professional advice.

    @Brittany – Healing times on overuse injuries can vary greatly. If you’re symptoms aren’t improving or your experiencing new symptoms (a locking knee), it may be time to discuss this with a doctor or get a screening by a physical therapist or athletic trainer.

    @Randy – It sounds like you’re trying several interventions, but there may be more to it than what can be addressed with ice, heat, foam rolling, and massage. Recurrent flare ups are reason enough to get an in-person evaluation from a professional – perhaps there could be a problem with your biomechanics or something as simple as your shoes. Unfortunately, this medium isn’t ideal for evaluating those types of issues.

  46. Susan Bolton

    First time I have ever written on line. I am so excited to find this information. I am not a runner, but I am 68 years old and no strength in my right hip and leg. Lying on my left side I can not lift my right leg up. (like the exercise shown) I have had back surgery and knee replacement. The comments made has given me some ideas on what I can try. When I walk I throw my right hip out and so I don’t stand straight, and walk with a limp. Thanks for the comments.

  47. teresa bumgardner

    I am a week out of total hip replacement and while the hip pain is gone now the outside of my knee down is giving me so much pain that I am not sleeping and nothing I do helps the pain. I am taking so much pain meds and it only makes the pain a little less. When I do sleep I wake up screaming and crying in pain. Any ideas? I am ready to just scream!!! Thanks for any advice.

  48. Steve

    HI Dave,

    1) 19 years ago I suffered a blow to the side of my knee playing basketball. Someone cut me off as I was trying for another steal of the ball and I guess that was unacceptable and he plowed into the side of my left knee at a perpendicular angle. It sent me flying through the air. I’ve have problems ever since. Is it possible for an IT band to become detached from that bone on the outside of the knee? My band rolls back and forth over the bone if I bend my knee. Excessive movement will make it very sore. Other times I may have a dull ache or mild pain. My other knee is great and the band is attached. The doctor at the time under my parents insurance was clueless about it. An MRI at the time showed a hairline fracture and what he called “a disconnected biceps tendon.” I assume he meant the band? The other otherwise may be o.k. with A LOT of rest but weakens with use, esp. when having to bend the knee. The area below the kneecap can get painful with overuse,
    I am guessing because of the other injury weakening the knee somewhat.

    2) I also suspect I have some pain in my hip from an IT band overuse a couple months ago. I was power washing my sister’s pontoon boat and weaving around under a scissor trailer back and forth for almost a few hours taking hard algae off. Later she decides we need the acid wash to finish but damage was done by then. Anyway, my hip hurt ever since, esp. when getting up. I am now off work and able to rest. How long would it normally take to heal, or should an MRI be done after a certain amount of time? I’ll do the stretching detailed in the article in the meantime. Thank you!

  49. Hannah Jenkins

    I have IT Band Sydrome and I am not a runner, nor a dancer. There has not seemed to be any reason that it suddenly popped up, however I do have very tight hamstrings. I do my streatches but it never goes away, and the doctor suggested that it would go away when im done growing as my body would get used to it. I’ve been done growing for years now and it sometimes causes major pain in my opposite hip.

  50. Ashley

    I’ve had medial patella pain off and on for about 9 months. I started a running program but had to quit when I suffered an injury at work. I ended up with a medial tibial plateau fx. I went through 8 weeks of therpay to strengthen my leg and increase mobility. The fx is better but we discovered that my IT band is tight and full of knots. Could my IT band problems cause patellar pain?? And could the tightness cause my patella to shift laterally??

  51. Laura

    I have just been diagnosed with an injured IT band. I had total knee replacement on the left knee in June and it’s going great. I play a lot of tennis and the right knee is bad and needs to be replaced too. I’ve been going to the Chiropractor and massage therapist for neck and shoulder pain and today I had them work on my butt/hip and leg pain on the right leg. Sitting on a tennis ball seems to help.

  52. Susan

    I tried the link to the hip exercises in #3. It seems the pain in my legs is IT band. Funny, I’m not an athlete at all, but a couple of years ago I moved to Europe, began walking everywhere on uneven sidewalks and developed this odd pain up and down the side of my legs. I’ve had bad knees for a long time due to a fall and now they are worse, my hips hurt (thought it was age) and getting up and down is a nightmare, since I often sit on the floor. This was too much aging. I mentioned it to my sister, who is a runner and she said, “IT band”. Recommended the foam roller (knows I can delight in the beautiful hurt of deep tissue massage) and research.
    Those hip exercises look good, but the link is broken.

  53. A

    Hello there nice article. I’ve been reading all about it band syndrome. Im 22 yrs.old and i’ve been running for almost 2 years now on and off. But this past few moths 3 mos to be exact ive been running/jogging every other day. And today around 6 in the morning after i ran for 6 laps, was the first time ever i experienced this kind of pain in my lateral knee. I read tons of it band syndrome after i got this pain. How can i be so sure that this is indeed it band syndrome? Coz Im so worried now i just based my analysis from the sign and symptoms i have right now.and it reveals It band syndrome accdg to your post and others. How long do i need to rest? Prevention and treatment that can alleviate as soon as possible. Mr. Dave help me pls. Thanks.

  54. Bo Gutting

    I have IT syndrome in my righ leg for 6 weeks. I fel better and can not lean forward , squat and even sit on the floor but in the last few daysi have savier pain so sharp that I hear myself moning.the pain covers the top of my leg. It’s vibrating, and now the left leg hurts. Any thoughts ? Please ….
    Thank you

  55. Dave Heidloff

    @A – Unfortunately, it’s impossible to diagnose anything over the internet. IT band syndrome is a possibility, but formal diagnosis should be done by a medical professional in person. Having said that, resting times vary from person to person – some people a few days, some a couple of weeks. Try altering your exercises and sticking with the mobility work discussed in the blog. Consider seeking help from a medical professional if your symptoms are not changing.

    @Bo – Those symptoms sound like they should be evaluated by your physician.

  56. Heather

    I am a massage therapist and have a couple of running clients with this syndrome. Obviously I can massage & lengthen it (my client said I do a better job than her roller), but is there anything more I can do? I’m a bit concerned about causing more inflammation. Also, what is causing the tightening? A foot that is turned out while running? The IT band really doesn’t contract, so-to-speak, so how does it tighten? Thanks!

  57. Anne

    Hi. My college age daughter has taken up Rowing at her school. Her coach is amazed by her and feels she can go on to the Olympics. Very cool. She has been complaining about pain on the outside of her leg which she was told that it may be her IT band. Unfortunately she can not change up her training, so what would your suggestion be for her to at least work out the muscle as well suggestions for exercises to do in her down time to strengthen this muscle? Thank you!

  58. Dave Heidloff

    @Heather – Lengthening and releasing fascia is a great start to relieving IT band pain. Some other methods mentioned above – strengthening supporting muscles, addressing biomechanical problems, and addressing other concurrent issues may be necessary for full resolution. Sometimes the perceived tightness can be from facia restrictions or running/walking gait patterns that put unnecessary strain on the IT band. There are a lot of moving parts, which is why sometimes stretching and mobility work alone may not be enough to achieve 100% resolution.

    @Anne – I would try readdressing the training with her coach. She won’t see progress without calming down any inflammation that may be present, and avoiding aggravating activities may be necessary to achieve that. In addition to the exercise listed above, working on general hip strength and core stability has led to a lot of success for many athletes I’ve worked with. As always, any persistent problems should be addressed by a medical professional in person.

  59. Marty

    My wife mysteriously hurt her left leg a few weeks back. She has no idea what may have caused it as she no longer is a long distance runner. At age 67, she walks, fast if possible, but the day she felt this issue come on, she did nothing more than play with a granddaughter at the playground on swings, etc… Later in the evening, the pain started and her thigh was as hard as a rock. We tried ice and elevation to no avail and when the pain became too intense, she asked to switch to heat pads. This seemed to help, but for 2 days, nothing seemed to improve. She tried some Vicodin that I had left over from some recent hernia operation which helped a little, but the odd this was the paid was very severe at night, progressing to almost unbearable even with the Vicodin. Off to see her Dr after 3 days and she diagnosed it as IT Band issue and prescribed Vicodin and physical Therapy. He Dr of Physical Therapy says she can’t figure out how she would have done it but told her she has the tightest hip/butt muscles she has ever seen, so has been working on those as well as taping from thigh to knee (she has had bruises show up inside and outside her hip with a slightly swollen knee, all of which some say is not unusual for this IT Band issue). She has some exercises she is to do at home as well as roll on a small soccer size rubber soft ball (PT says the foam roller is too strong and would hurt her at this point). Our son played football in NFL Europe and is almost a professional water and snow skier – and incredible all around athlete but due to all this is very familiar with “injuries” and rehabbing. He has a good friend who is a Physician and current head of Emergency Room at a hospital in another city. My son bounced my wife’s issue off him today, and the Dr said that often, IT Band issues or misdiagnosed and that this sounded to him like something I think was mentioned as Technotic or Techtronic Bursitis and she should get to someone who can try a cortisone shot somewhere (hip?) and would clear it up in a few days.

    What are your thoughts on this and how do we approach her Dr and PT with this “phone diagnoses”. Admittedly it seems a little unprofessional. But at this stage, she is in so much pain at night that she is almost in tears, moans in her sleep and has taken 2-3 Vicodin in 2-3 hours to hopefully help, and which does not seem to “kill the pain”. In addition, she either has caught a flu bug or something or the pain pills car causing upset stomach as she came home from work today, vomiting and went straight to be, sleeping for 4 hours. She is getting depressed and it is starting get to all our nerves……going on now for 3 weeks. Looks like we have to give up our anniversary ski trip planed for this weekend and next unless something like this bursitis shot worked. Help!!

  60. Marty

    Just sent in a request for feedback/help with my wife’s currently diagnosed IT Band sysdrome and possible misdiagnosis and possibly bursitis. The word I was looking for that my son’s Dr friend said to check out and get a cortisone shot is Trochanteric Bursitis … Does that help anyone and make sense when put together with my prior email query?

  61. Dave Heidloff

    @Marty – It never hurts to discuss any findings or research you’ve done with your physician or PT. Most are more than willing to have that discussion. Bringing additional information to the conversation is rarely a bad thing.

  62. Michael

    I am a high school lacrosse athlete and am very active, running or practicing almost every day. About 6 weeks ago, I suffered a PCL tear in my knee and was inactive other than PT for the first four weeks after that. Once I received my brace and medical clearance to do so, I started running and slowly getting back into my sport lacrosse. After 4 days of usage, the outside of my right knee and up through my leg up to my butt started bugging me and hurt most when it would go from bent to completely straight and vice versa. The pain would also be the worst at night and in the morning. My physical therapist said that it was most likely ITBS, and I am going to get conformation from my doctor soon.
    My question is: what’s the deal with recovery? Is it best to completely get off of it and rest it? How long will a less serious ITBS recovery take? I want to know the best method for recovery because lacrosse season starts in a couple weeks and I want to be available for that as soon as possible. Also, is it a reoccurring thing? If it is, I think I would rather be extra careful with the initial recovery as to avoid reoccurring problems. Thank you.

  63. Michelle

    I don’t know if you got part of my message I lost the page on my iPad. I’m a 60 yr. old woman with IT band pain. It just came on over night. Could I have gotten this from a slip and fall on ice. I didn’t have any pain for a couple of days. Was wondering if this could happen. My daughter is a massage therapist she told me I had a lot of knots where the pain is on the right side of my leg. She worked the area and there was pain when she worked it. But after I could walk up & downstairs with not so much pain. But next day the pain was back again. Should I be doing some stretching exercises also with her giving me the massages. I’ve had this pain for a couple of months now I just started the massage therapy. Will this ever go away. Thanks

  64. denise

    My pain is in my hip and low back. I do have mild scoliosis- could this cause its syndrome? My pain is mostly when I sleep or if I sit cross legged on the floor. I’ve been stretching for months doing modified pidgeon, bridge etc, but I still wake in the night in pain. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  65. Dave Heidloff

    @Michael – Timelines for recovery vary greatly due to a lot of different factors, so setting time frames is tough. Generally, resting initially and addressing muscular weakness and stiffness via mobility exercises and strengthening are effective in setting the stage for recovery. When returning to activity it’s important to ease back in slowly, listen to your body, and continue your mobility and strengthening work. As always, if you’re not seeing improvement, seek advice from a health care professional.

    @Denise – Scoliosis can cause imbalances and could be contributing to your core, hip, and leg mechanics, but it’s impossible to know for sure without seeing a health care professional for a formal evaluation. Stretching is a good start, but other interventions such as foam rolling, strengthening, and modifying your sleeping position may be effective as well. As always, if you’re not seeing improvement, seek advice from a health care professional.

  66. Kim

    Hello I have been diagnosed with IT syndrome about a year ago. I don’t ever excerice or run so I do not know how I got this. It started in my right hip then gradually over the past couple of years has got worse and it is in both hips/knees. It is so painful. It wakes me up every night multiple times. Hurts to go up and down stairs, walk, getting up after sitting. PRetty much anything I do makes it hurt. I have Bursitis in my hips also. I have had cortisone shots in both hips where the bursitis is and I feel WONDERFUL for about a couple of weeks no pain at a. I am suppose to go to pt but I really don’t understand why I woudl do something that would make my pain worse. Is there anything else that can be done for this horrible condition and how bad does it progress? Like to the point I cannot walk anymore?

  67. Sian

    Hi there,

    I am a first time marathon runner, four weeks away from the big day. For the past two months I have been battling IT band syndrome. Rollering, yoga, strength, stretching – I have tried the works!

    I had shoes/running technique assessed – all fine and am seeing a physio every two weeks in the run up. Told me to crosstrain (bike/rower/swim) to keep fitness up and just one big run a week. I am up to 16 miles.

    Had a cortisone shot two weeks ago. Told to stay off for three days, then crosstraining again. But NO running for 10 days, which i’ve done.

    I have found bruising has come in quite badly and now the inside of my knee is sore. Is this normal?! Going to have a couple more days of icing, rollering and rest then go on my 20 miler in four days.

    Any help appreciated!!!

  68. Sian

    Hello there,

    I am a first time marathon runner, big day in four weeks!!

    I have been battling IT syndrome for past two months. Tried everything, yoga, rollering, stretching, massage – nothing worked.

    I am seeing physio who has told me to just crosstrain (row/swim/bike) and do one a week maximum long runs. I have got up to 16 miles doing this.

    Had a cortisone injection in the outside of the knee (where the rubbing happens) and was told to stay off completely for three days, then I could resume crosstraining but NO running for at least 10 days. I have followed all this advice.

    Problem I have now is that it feels like it has sorted the outside knee problem, I have had some bruising but now I have pain on inside of knee that was not there before. Anyone else had this probelm? Hoping it is common and will go down with a couple of days rest and ice. Need help to stop me panicking.

    Planning a 20 miler in five days time and will rest until then.

  69. Anne

    My 16 year old son was just diagnosed by a sports medicine doctor that his IT is causing the swelling of his knee. The doctor also showed me that he is bowlegged and that this along with the extensive training he has now begun for soccer season after moderate exercise throughout this polar vortex winter has aggravated the IT. I am now at home wondering how do I know when he can return to play? The season starts next Saturday so I want to know how I know he is well enough to return to playing soccer. The doctor recommended he should use a stationary bike or elliptical trainer to continue his endurance training. Should I call back and better clarify?

  70. Dave Heidloff

    @Anne – Return to play decisions are up to the physician that diagnosed him. Sometimes that can be after a set period of rest, after certain criteria is met, or sometimes it can be up to the athlete’s pain tolerance. You may want to clarify this with his doctor.

  71. Jane

    I am glad I found this site! I think you have diagnosed my problem. Im in my 70s and we take long walks with our Yellow Lab on local beaches. I have had this pain on the outside of my knee once in a while and rest usually fixes it.
    But the other day it just got worse and worse, and talking with our street-hockey playing daughter, she said that this sounds exactly like ITBS. Ive been resting for a week or so, but it gets worse. Our house is 3 levels and I have to climb stairs constantly.
    I have just taken an Advil and that seems to help a bit. Standing with straight legs is OK, lying in bed, OK, but moving on stairs or bending the knee, OUCH.
    I seem to have the same symptoms as Kim. I will read thru all the posts as I sure have learned a lot here. Is rest the answer? Or should I call our doctor on Monday.

    Thank you,

  72. Sue

    I enjoy hiking. When I was out today I had terrible pain in both hips by the 8th mile when going downhill my knees hurt. I have always had pain when hiking downhill, but never had the hip pain before. I work out 2-3.times a week including Yoga. Any other recommendations? How do you use the foam roller? Thhank you.

  73. Samantha

    Outside knee pain on right leg. Swollen. Also catches and pops. Can his be a symptom as well?

    Physio tape the pulls everything toward the inner thigh prevents catching. But also feels a bit unstable and knee shouldnt twist.

  74. Dean

    I have itbs in both hip had a op 2years back and never been back on my feet and have 2 walking sticks and in a lot of pain after surgery It left my leg so week can anyone help me

  75. Nancy

    @ #72: Marty…. I am experiencing similar issues with the orthopedic specialist thinking I have trochanteric bursitis. Mine has been going on since December, 2013. I’ve had cortisone shots, x-ray, arthogram, and therapy to no avail and still deal with this constant throbbing down my left side of my leg. Now looking into the L5 vertebrae but I am pretty confident that the issue I have is not in the back because it is sore to the touch at the left of the thigh. Just wondering if I also have an IT band issue. Ortho. told me that the Arthrogram would not show issues with the IT band because it is circumferential. Good luck with your wife getting down to the bottom of her issue. I do mostly cross-training to stay fit but am on the DL for a while until this is resolved. Every time I try to go back to any type of exercise it just irritates the whole thing.

  76. chris caravello

    Can tingling in the back of the leg just below the hamstring be associated with IT issues? I also have tightness in the thigh area.

  77. Art Lobaugh

    After knee surgery the muscles in my leg deteriorated by about 30% from non-use. Now that I’m able to exercise (walk/ride) I have ITBS and I think it’s from not being able to use the knee joint properly when walking. I don’t have the flex in the knee when I walk, more like a flat footed walk, and I think this is causing my pain. Anyway, if any of you have had knee surgery-gone-wrong, your IT band will most likely be an issue over time.

  78. Shirl

    I’m just wondering how many of you have self diagnosed IT Band Syndrome and how many have been diagnosed by a physician. I started having pain down the outer part of both legs after a gym workout. They are now very weak and sore to the touch on a line where seam would run in pants. I’ve been to neurologist, rhuematologist, urologist, just about every “ologist” there is and they don’t have a clue. I’m now having a lot of problems walking, I tire very easily and an somewhat off balance. Need your input.

  79. Renee

    I had PT, but still in constant pain, sleepless nights, I’m still walking & biking, but not as much as before.
    I need to find a doc. I so tired of the pain it has probably been at least a year or so…

  80. sos-925

    This has been very interesting to read. Can someone clarify the difference between bursitis and IT syndrome?

    I have had relief from severe pain and weakness by attending a spinologist. He differs from chiropractor or osteopath and there’s less manipulation.

    Rest does seem to help mine

  81. Chris J.

    I had both hips replaced during the past winter. 3 months in, I was forced to do some fast-paced walking. Ever since, I’ve been hurting really bad. My right leg cannot bear any weight without sharp pain in my knee. There is swelling just above the outside of the knee and an indentation between the swelling and the knee cap. There is also pain and tenderness running up the outside of the leg to the hip. The constant knee pain is by far the worst symptom.

    My doctor recently diagnosed IT-Band syndrome and prescribed a muscle relaxer and exercises. I can’t do the exercises yet due to the pain and the muscle relaxer seems to just make me drowzy.

    This is ruining my life. Any suggestions?

  82. Bridget

    I have terrible pain in my left knee. It is also “noisy” feels like gravel crunching but the pain is on the back of the knee and I can’t bend it completely or do squats and when I am exercising I will get a sharp pain in the middle of the knee cap. Any suggestions?

  83. Larry L

    I am a 64 yr old retired male that plays golf at least three times per week. My pain is tolerable during the day but at night I cannot get comfortable to sleep, as the pain is incredibly high. For the 8 days I am taking 750mg of a NSAID 2x per day and doing stretching exercises but not getting any relief yet. I use an ellipical 3x per week in the winter and 1x per week in the summer + weight machines. Would a cortisone injection be effective? Do you think the culprit is the golf or the gym?

  84. Bastian

    I have IT Band in both legs after take CIPROfloxacine . It was 5 months ago and pain is still there. I’m afraid that will be forever… :/

  85. Dave Heidloff

    @Larry – When it comes to giving treatment advice, it’s best to consult with your physician or seeking advice from a physical therapist or athletic trainer – somebody that can look at your individual situation and help determine an effective treatment plan.

    @Bastian – If a treatment doesn’t seem to be working, it’s worth discussing other options with our physician.

  86. Chris J.

    An update on my situation: I saw an orthopedic specialist and he said that although IT Band syndrome could be part of my problem, it would NOT cause swelling in the knee. He ordered an MRI of the knee which showed arthtitus behind the knee cap and a “tear” in the meniscus cartilage. A shot of cortisone in the knee helped a lot. Orthoscopic surgery down the line. The moral: as Dave says, nothing substitutes for a personal professional opinion.

  87. Diane

    In August 2012 I fell on a wet floor in a department store, ended up with a total rt. hip replacement, a bad left knee (arthroscopy to repair torn meniscus & chips). I was told due to my severe osteoarthritis I will have to have a total knee replacement. I saw an article about preserving the ACL & my doctor said “he does cut it” so I found someone in the area who doesn’t. I went to him today & after x-rays & reading my surgery report plus examination was told I do not need a total knee but I have ITB Syndrome. So did this happen with the fall as I’m 69 years old & do not run. Can you explain how it could have happened & what I can do MYSELF to make it better via my email? Would riding my bike help or hinder it? So what about my osteoarthritis? I will continue to wear my knee brace. Thank you

  88. Craig

    I have suffered with ITB since March, very much on the mend now. I had actually switched from support shoes to neutral with out thinking about it. It didn’t click until a month ago, so went for an analysis and I should wear support/ structured shoes. What a difference the right footwear makes, running again now 🙂

  89. Elisha

    Wondering if anyone had some ideas: I’ve had IT band issues off and on. I recently read that it is commonly caused by a weak gluteus medius muscle. (Where the band attached in the hip.) So I did about 15 min of the basic side leg raises and clam leg stretches. Today, I can’t even jog my hip and hamstring hurt so much. Only when I stand on one leg or try to jog, what did I do??!

  90. Barry

    I do mutiple day long distance hikes. My legs seldom ache but on days I exceeed roughly 15 miles my left knee develops excruciating pain whenever descending hills or even on level terrain. It feels fine, always, whenever ascending. The pain occurs upon lifting the leg, not whenever planting it. Could this be an IT band issue?

  91. Nicole

    I have found this all very interesting the pain i have started behind my knee but is now mostly my hip area. I am trying out the exercises and ice and ibuprofen , is there anyway i can be sure it is an it band problem? Pain is there all the time but only slight and have had it for 4 days now . i am training for a half marathon in 6 weeks so any advice would be
    Lastly is it wise to continue with running/ cross training thanks

  92. Lisa

    Does Ibs hurt to touch the leg? My pain is an inch or so below the knee and I wAs wondering if it could be ibs or something else. It hurts to run, walk, touch and has ‘given out’ when I’ve started to run. The pain stays pretty localized. I go to the doctor Thursday but that seems forever away with the amount of pain I’m in. Ive been running 5 miles regularly since May. No speed work, hills, uneven terrain, etc. Thanks for any insight.

  93. Deanna Jakubiak

    I was just diagnosed with IT Band Syndrome. I fell in October and landed hard on my knee on a concrete floor. I have had such pain in my low back and down my leg which is getting worse. After everything I am reading, it sounds like something a runner gets. I am not a runner at all and wonder how I got this. The pain is so bad at night, that I can’t even lift my leg to move the blankets off my feet. Is this something that came with my limping from the fall? My low back is killing me also, but hearing what the therapist told me today, I am wondering how this happened an how I got this. I look forward to your advice and how I can get better soon. Thank you

  94. Carole Weigel

    I have no idea what I am dealing with. Had knee replacement in 2006 with resulting arthrofibrosis (stiff knee syndrome) due to huge amt of scar tissue. About 6 months ago I began having excrutiating pain in the morning while still in bed which starts at lateral knee and shoots down to the ankle with burning pain that makes it impossible to even stand. It lasts about 15 minutes and sometimes happens twice within 15 or 20 minutes. Someone suggested it’s nerve related. What nerve could be the cause it and why is my question. It must be related to the knee surgery as it only happens on the replaced knee. Does anyone have any idea what this is? The pain is terrible.

  95. Pat West

    I have had knee pain for a couple years, running. My doctor insists it is patellar syndrome. I have been to orthopedics, physical therapy three times, and MRI showed up negative. I feel a popping of something when I get up or stretch legs apart. This has also affected my inner thigh. I can’t seem to get the right medical help. The affected leg (right) cannot cross over the left leg. Does this sound like a band that could be crossing over another muscle or band causing the popping feeling?

  96. DJ

    I have had IT band syndrome for 5 months now. I have a suspicion that my car commute plays a factor. I drive 2 hours to work, and 2 hours home and have been doing this for 8 Years. The pain is becoming unbearable while I’m driving, and now I’m not able to run like I use to. I am going to start doingg the suggested stretches and strengthening moves to see if there is improvement. What are some safe cardio exercises that I can do and not make the IT band worse? (besides swimming) Thanks!

  97. Ashton

    I’ve been having some problems recently after a high school cross-country race two weeks ago. My coach told me that it’s most likely my IT band, but the pain is mostly located in the upper portion of it, along my hip/upper quad. Anyone have any suggestions as to stretches? Everything that I’ve found so far seems to stretch mostly the lower portion.

  98. Rachel


    I had knee surgery last year, specifically my IT band was cut to move my knee cap into its proper place. I did all of the required physical therapy, and continue to stretch my IT band regularly. However, I recently started really training again (circuit training), and after 10 days, where my IT band was cut is sore. Is it because it is slightly shorter now, and should I just take extra care with my form to not over-stretch it? I’m wondering if it’s because I go deeper into my squats, jump higher, etc.

  99. trish nedry

    I recognize that you are dealing mostly with athletes, but, IT syndrome is not just an athlete issue. I am a 65 year old woman who stopped running decades ago. I swim, walk, do tai chi and yoga. My physical therapist picked up on the problem when I described the pain I was having. Two doctors only looked at the osteoarthritis in my knee and never consider ITS. She has told me I have to take extra care to stretch my IT Bands…..for life. I’m sure there are other seniors out there who are getting lots of shots and/or knee replacements but not getting relief because the problem is not in the knee joint.

  100. Janet Meisenzahl

    I just had a total right hip replacement on September 22, 2014. Most of the pain I am experiencing is in the IT band running from my buttock to past my knee. The PT has been massaging it but I can’t do any of the stretching exercises that you recommend. Do you have any other suggestions? Iam 73 years old and fairly active but not a gym rat. It’s kind of crazy when people say where is your pain and I tell them my knee is killing me and I had a hip replacement. I would appreciate any suggestion you may have. Thanking you in advance.

  101. Janet Meisenzahl

    I recently had total right hip replacement and I am have a lot of pain in the IT band from my buttock down to my knee. You can feel the knots in the muscle. My PT has been massaging it but not getting a lot of relief and I can’t do the stretching exercises they recommend because it has only been 3-1/2 weeks since my surgery. The pain from that is hindering my walking with a cane as sometimes my knee goes out. Any suggestion? Thanking you in advance.

  102. Glenn Mitera

    My wife and myself have run two marathons recently. Before our last marathon in May 2014 my wife’s hip popped. She had pain and swelling in her right hip. Then she was the hit by a car in her hip while warming up for the marathon ( she ran anyway.) She saw our family physician and was told it was bursitis! She is 50yrs old and never had a problem with her hip. an MRI was done and there was nothing significant found. Her hip has been noticeably swollen for seven months now and no doctor has given us answers. Her right knee is starting the hurt. She still runs on the treadmill 3-5mi three times a week. She has running in her blood. This sounds like an IT Band issue.
    Do you any direction for us to go in?
    Thank you
    Concerned husband
    Glenn Mitera

  103. Bill Holland

    HELLO.I HAVE BEEN pretty active my entire life and am 64.Sometimes for no reason when I move a certain way my right knee locks up and I can’t straighten it out and can’t put any pressure on it.The it band is very tight and visable.Last time the ortho gave me cortizone and it did “pop,slide” into place after a couple days.Is this something I have to live with or would a knee replacement solve the problem? It is very frustrating.Thankyou Bill Holland.

  104. Lesley Peterson

    Hi. I am 64 and go to the gym periodically when I can (if I’m not suffering from a migraine)! For the past two years I have been suffering from constant pain down the outside of my left left, mostly at the top of my leg. It all started when we were vacationing in Scottsdale and were walking every morning. I’ve had it ever since. I tried a therapy session for months and had somewhat of a relief but it’s still there and lately has been really starting to ramp up again. My husband has been using a massager on it every night for me and I’ve been using a pain cream on top of that so I can get some sleep! What is your recommendation? Should I be going back to my doctor? Thank you!

  105. Kenny

    I am 30 years old male and I surf a lot, play tennis, work out, run etc. I have been dealing with this IT band issue for about 5 years now. I strain my IT band about once to twice a year and it sucks. I pull mine when I bring my leg back like doing a quad stretch. I have never seen a Dr about it and I just do my own P.T. with foam roller, stretching, stretch band ankle workouts that focus on strengthening the IT band. This stuff definitely helps and I need to do it on consistent basis and if I don’t I get tight and I might strain it. When I strain my IT band it hurts, it locks my knee up and I can’t straighten my knee and it gets swollen on the outer side and just aches from the outside of my knee down into my calf. Plus I have to limp when I walk because it gets so tight. But mine only last for about 4 to 5 days of tightness and being swollen and its back to normal like nothing happened. It’s a really weird experience. It sucks other people deal with this stuff too but it makes me happy I am not the only person that is dealing with this. I feel like this will be just a ongoing battle for the rest of my life with IT band issue. I have pulled my hamstrings before and other muscles and I would have to say straining your IT band is worst strain I have ever had. It really immobilizes you. I really think the remedy is to really focus and being consistent on strengthening and stretching your IT band and of course not overuse. That is my experience with it and my two cents. I hope everyone on this thread can find out what works for them

  106. Nicholas Schultz

    I have a question about sitting position.

    Alternating these two positions

    Sitting with your ankle on your opposite knee (high cross-legged)


    Sitting with one knee up to your chest, foot flat on the seat.

  107. Allie

    I play volleyball and do a lot of hitting, blocking, etc. As I described my pain in my hip to my doctor he said that it was my IT Band. Is it possible that I could injure my IT Band from jumping a lot during volleyball?

  108. Marnie

    i have had hip replacemnt due to a freak accident. I was tripped from behind and my hip partially dislocated. I developed avescular necrosis. Anyway I’m back to working out and I have a painful IT band issue and my whole leg stays inflamed. Does anyone have any info on this for me.

  109. Jon

    Hey guys,

    In around October my IT band started to hurt really bad on runs. It hurt to walk, especially up/downstairs which lasted several weeks. I didn’t run for over 2 months. I tried it again, same consequence so I stopped running for another month and a half. I just started again due to the nice weather and what do ya know, it hurts again. Any help??

  110. Lori

    I am NOT an athlete. I ride an exercise bike every day to help control my Type 1 diabetes. I have been diagnosed with IT Band Syndrome, but my pain is more severe in my leg, rather than my knee. I have been noticing that when I put on my shoes, which are top of the line Asics, and only about 6 months old, that my foot on that side feels like it is sloping downhill to the outside. Could that be the key factor to this? I hated to replace them already, but think that may be my problem.

  111. Linda DeVincenzo

    I was diagnosed with IT band. I had hip surgery last October. My chief complaint is being unable to put weight in operated leg without severe pain in the thigh. It started after kicking in the pool. Does this make sense? The pain goes mid calf. They say I have a tight it band. I’m depressed after two months of not walking without pain. I m starting PT and hope it helps. Any thoughts? Ps. First they diagnosed sciatica but after a clean MRI they said IT band


  112. Jeff Thimgan


    I have a fairly simple question. After years of 5-6 years of running and feeling absolutely no pain at all up to distances of 21-24 miles ( despite having flat feet, slight leg length imbalance, and mild over-pronation ), I have suddenly developed a problem with my left knee ( what I believe to be my longer leg ). After running my first mountainous ultra-marathon that was terribly thickened with mud, I gave myself a week of recovery and then tried to go up and do a fairly standard trail run with 4 miles climbing and 6-miles of technical downhill. What resulted was quite a bit of pain on the outside of my left knee midway through the downhill, pretty much in the exact area IT band usually affects. Since then, I can’t run more than 5 miles without irritating the same, pinpoint area in my knee. However up to 5 miles I’m good regardless what kind of running I’m doing. My question is, should I continue to run below that 5 mile mark during my normal training days…or do I need to shut it down entirely for a few weeks. I’ve already committed to some gait analysis and hiring a running trainer in the near future to really zero in on my running technique, shoe fitting, and proper preparation. I’m also starting some serious stretching and workouts to remedy the IT syndrome.

  113. Sally Keene

    I’m 66 years old and have never been athletic. I do ride bikes, swim and do weight resistance training.

    I was told I have IT Syndrome Nov. of 2014. I have been doing all the exercise for this condition with little relief. I also have been in therapy. Does anyone know where I can get help with this. I live in Northern Illinois but do not want to travel to Chicago: Rockford or Madison would work better.
    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  114. David

    I am 54. Have to sit all day for my job. Always seem to have tightness down backside of both legs and glutes. Constantly stretching. Have a constant tightness in left buttock I can never stretch out. Always seem to have pressure on left side of knee. Sometimes my left leg feels twisted. Sometimes to the point of making it hard to walk. Could this be IT Band Syndrome?

  115. karen

    Been dealing with tightness from “over use” for 10 years….excruciating pain, especially after 2 babies. 2nd pregnancy had to be c-section due to extreme pain during natural birth (holding legs back so long) Couldn’t walk/barely moved for 6 weeks….Have learned to live with it and alleviate by foam rolling, ice, rest, and some strengthening with cross fit, yoga. My right hip is or feel “locked”, always twisted, sometimes can barely walk. Chiro adjustments and some ultra sound therapy help but very minimal….Very frustrating. Any suggestions/help?

  116. Carol

    I am 63 years old. In October 2014 I had a bi-femoral by pass where in some muscles and nerves were cut. When I went for a massage, I almost jumped of table when he got to my left leg. He told me that it appears to be my IT-band. Can hardly lay on left side and walking is very painful.

    I am with Karen. It is very frustrating! Your suggestions/help would be very welcomed!

  117. loretta

    Hi im 70 and have bad pain from hip to outside of my knew i have been told i have this band trouble i walk now only 2k im am over weight so i think pool would help what do you think would be the best loretta

  118. Howard

    I’m a 58 year old retired firefighter who started playing Picklball approx a year ago…I have had my aches and pains from the constant side to side movement much like a tennis player…but recently I’ve started having some pains on the outside part of my right knee and tightness in my IT band area…I am doin the RICE treatment and wearing a knee support…my question to anyone having these symptoms…I’ve noticed the pain has radiated to inside of the knee amd down into the foot….but not to the point of immobility jus a dull ache…any comments and suggestions…thks

  119. Dawn

    I am 38 and recently needed a total left hip replacement. My outside knee has come and gone with a lot of pain for 5 years now. I was always told because of favoring my hip all those years. After the replacement, I still have pain outside the knee. At times it gets bad enough to travel through leg and down to foot. I was recently told it was my IT band but can’t start PT until my hip is fully recovered. This same pain for 5 years now with no treatment ever. Now I worry, how bad could damage be and should I demand MRI right away or not.
    Thank you

  120. Marilyn

    I’m a 52 year old female who suffers from IT band pain when I spend time on my motorcycle. I wonder if my posture or the ergonomics are somehow causing this. It clears with rest and rolling over the first half of the winter and using the elliptical once it settles down doesn’t bother it but once motorcycle riding season hits full swing (say a 2000 mile trip with an average 250-300 mile day) I’m in agony again – to the point that clothing against it is painful. I’m definately going to try the stretching and hope that fixes it.

  121. Wilf

    It started a couple of years ago with pain in my knees when I changed position from sitting to standing. Left knee a bit more painful than right. MRI was found OK and was recommended stretches. The pain continued and I was given a shot of Cortizon. Took away the pain for about 45 days. As it wore off a dull pain crept in sometimes.

    About two months ago I got involved in light sport and the pain returned and made it difficult to walk. Visited another doc who suggested that this is the a strain on the IT band. Recommended a few exercises that I did but the pain still exist and getting worse.

    Any advice

  122. Sara Lindstrom

    I am currently suffering from ITBS but not sure what had caused it, I do not run, train or play tennis. It suddenly began to be very painful to lay on my left side to sleep, as a side sleeper and the left being my preferred side, you can imagine my annoyance! I’ve been to my pcp, she had instructed me to use a foam roller and also gave me a couple other exercises to do…is been several weeks and not seeming to be getting any better. Advice would be appreciated.

  123. Oliver

    I am currently suffering from what I believe to be IT band pain on my left knee, I had acl reconstruction nearly 3 years ago, I did full rehab and got back to playing football, i played for approximately 4 months, then i got the problem I have now, I have had another 3 MRI scans since and the doctors cannot see any other problems. I have no problems running in straight lines, when I do running where I do twisiting i get lots of pain for days after, any advice on what I could do to help this?

  124. Angie

    I’ve been dealing with ITBS for almost three years, I did have a z plasty one year ago because I was so bad I was in a wheelchair. Now the pain has returned, I got a steroid shot two weeks ago and have been stretching, icing, resting. I see my doctor again tomorrow. For those who have been dealing with this for so long, see an ortho surgeon. I was pain free for a year, and I hope this is a simple flair up, but I am terrified. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through.

  125. Carrie S.

    I’m not much of an athlete , but I have muscular dystrophy and out if significant need and no other way to make proper money I have been waiting tables which.. Obviously causes unbelievable leg pain which I grit my teeth and bear using every natural remedy I can find. About a week ago I woke up w my hip hurting but it felt like a muscle .. Throughout the day the pain got worse and traveled along the outside of my leg, not only past the outside of my knee but down the outside / front of my ankle and foot . I kept thinking it was a fluke and would go away so I kept working/ walking till it affected even my inner thigh muscle . ( only left leg) Does this sound like am IT Band thing? Now I’m back in school but dance class is making it horridly worse although I though it would stretch it out.

  126. Debbie Lee

    Hi all, well five years ago I was generally diagnosed with West Nile Virus however due to a series of IV/IG treatments done it cannot be fully further diagnosed they say due to those treatments. Anyway be all that as it may when all else fails they call whatever hit me transverse myelitis, I am confirmed it to be WNV but moot point to this timeline. I’ve been walking on a darn walker now for five years and under 60 years of age hence fighting for some day getting off the darn thing but due to knee to foot numbness and my balance being taken away it hasn’t yet happened. I am confirmed it will. Point to this post is last week I began, after six weeks of being unable to exercise, due to what I thought was my hip flexor and I was in the hands of my chiro, I was told I could begin exercising. I know to go slowly and did so and for the first two days, really eased at it doing floor stretches – pushups etc. then on the stationary bike but only for a couple miles on a low level. Come the third day I decided to begin pushing myself more and raised the resistance level of the bike and went to it but again not doing more than a mere 2.5 miles. That night went to step over the dog and almost went down as my right leg – oh my gosh the pain was beyond excruciating in fact I thought oh my gosh something must be broken. I could barely walk with the darn walker to bed and all night was in tears on and off due to the pain. The following day (a week ago) went to see an ortho doc and had xrays and the like – he said immediately it is ITB syndrome and if I deemed I could get a cortisone shot or wait and always come back to get one. Well I’ve got whatever floating through my system from five years ago anyway and thought I would suck it up and I’d better wait (which I did) on the shot and see….he ordered PT 2x a week as well and I began that two days ago. The PT put elastic tape on it to unload the muscle and tendon and I had it that on for two days. Yesterday,day two of the tape, I thought it was psychosomatic as it began hurting outside the tape strip moving from the area taped to the front of my leg same area though. I ignored it. Woke up in the middle of last night to put covers on and damnation I almost screamed with pain – the same pain I’d experienced one week ago Wednesday when stepping over the dog – it was excruciating! Through many tears this morning I got dressed and into work. What is interesting is it hurts to go down stairs, in the below the knee side tendon/muscle area – but now going up the stairs I can barely step first on that affected right leg as that lower area is so painful! Gosh sakes alive – my therapist had me take the strip off this morning she’d put there and I’m to see her tomorrow but what in the heck. She massaged / kneaded it heavily three days ago and tells me when the area quiets down more I need to begin clamshells and leg lifts sideways so it checks w/all I’ve read above. Granted I have a lot of things happening here – between the continued numbness in both legs / balance taken etc. but I am surely working hard to overcome all and then this dang thing happens – what in the world! I’ve gotten a few things out of these posts, albeit the RICE treatment – obviously good supportive shoes – etc. My ortho told me to take no more than six IBUprofen a day – I am taking at this time only a total of three and at bedtime a hydrocodone – though honestly it seems for naught. Seeing a vascular doctor due to the edema (prev issue as able mentioned) which I am encountering in both legs and will be discussing this IT Band syndrome now with him as well, getting his thoughts as surely the swelling doesn’t help the situation either. Never dull right? If I get anything out of the vascular doctor next week relating to this I will come back once more and share surely. All the best to you! Debbie

  127. joy

    Due to Anterior hip replacement in 2010, I was 72, this surgery left me with shorter leg, Femoral Nerve Damage, my thigh is over 80% numb 5 yrs later. Add to that IT band damage, right side of leg is numb and causes more pain in my knee. I had A.R.T. work, once a week or 8 weeks, and it helped some but back to the tightness and numbness. It’s been a nightmare.

    Two supps Inosine and Sphingolin have helped reduce burn/tingle in the Nerve Damage area on front of thigh…but it’s all very numb.

    I massage it all, deeply and it gives me a hurt feel good feeling…but it’s all still numb and sore.

    I had a bad carpenter do the hip job….he does good work, but didn’t on me.

  128. Carolyn Schroeder

    8 weeks ago, I suddenly had a very sharp pain in my upper thigh…or I should say under the quads somewhere. The pain intensified and I tried mega doses of Alleve, stretching, ice and massage which was the only thing that helped.
    It affected my sleep as every time I would move I felt like I had been stabbed.
    I went to heat and it felt good but just temporarily. I have used the jets of the hot tub on that spot for 30 min. straight, several times. Felt better, but was back the next day. It hurts when I sit down and is really bad when I try to stand. I have to always let the good leg lead. There is NO spot to localize this. Deep massage on my quads does not bring it on. The pain often radiates to one of the glutes…medius I think.
    X-ray showed a good hip…great news as I am 71. Primary Doc thought it might be Trochanteric Bursitis. Sent me to an orthopod…who said it was just my IT Band. I know I am not the expert, but it is my body and after researching the T. Bursitis, it sounds like a classic.

    I am starting PT but if that should not work, I do not want a cortisone shot in my IT band !!!!……especially since it cannot be localized. Any thoughts, here.

    (I had spent several days on my computer trying to find replacement parts for several of our household items. It took a long time and I was increasingly frustrated/tense. ) I am an older, over-weight female who had been sitting for
    some many hrs. each day. I use the exercise bike with no pain…the treadmill and various upper body weights….three times a week. I lost 38 lbs. over the summer and I am not done yet. But I am not an athlete
    and running stopped about 18 years ago after three knee replacements.

    Again…your thoughts out there.

  129. frank skinner

    my left hip is giving me real bad pain. during the day, it feels o.k. it`s when i try to sleep any position the pain is unberable. the pain radiates from below my hip down my leg front and rear. when i sit in a chair it dose`nt bother you have any sugestions. thanks frank

  130. Santos

    Hi There,
    Great info.

    I am an amateur cyclist. I go on long rides on weekends. It happened that I rode around 100kms last weekend and half way through the ride I started developing pain on the outer side portion of both my knees (left side knee was too much). This made me almost impossible to climb stairs and very difficult to drive my car.

    Is this pain an IT band ? what are the home remedies for this ?

  131. Deepak

    Hi , I m deepak from india, i have gone through article and have concluded that i m having IT band issue, I have done couple of Half Marathon and next month I wanted to do a full marathon, for which I have a lot training , during last two training session (20mil) i suffered a pain in my right leg outside knee. I desperately want to do the my First Full Marathon, can u please suggest how to go further and finish the marathon

  132. Carmen

    I’ve been suffering from this for about 10 years and just learned what it was due to now having hip bursitis. My Dr just told me what it was and that he could give me a shot, so I’m kind of on my own to figure out why and how to treat it along with different stretches. I watched a video where a Dr did something called FRAMS. I tried this today on my own and had instant relief and could feel the knoted fibers. I believe my root of the problem is my 5th lumbar has wings and has fussed to my pelvic bone on my left side which means I have very little flexibility on that side. I’m 27 and have 2 kids under the age of 3, so rest isn’t possible and being able to walk is a must. I’m not sure who else to go to or what else to do. I’m due to go to my chiropractor for a hip adjustment. Hopefully he can point me in the right way to treat this. Thank you for the article!

  133. susan

    Is there a chance that injury to the IT band will never heal? I’ve been through Epidural, Lumbar injections, cauterizations of the nerves in my lumbar, because I’ve been told the pain is from my back. Also did 21 weeks of PT. I’ve been in pain since April 30, 2015. I’m out of ideas ! Please help!

  134. Megan

    At the age of 16, I got the ITB thing. Was bowling once a week and dance once a week. Went to physical therapy twice. Got the cor. thing shot, it did nothing so they took it right back out. And the doctor told me just to exercise. Now I’m 21, with no insurance, and it just hurts and hurts. When I lay on it especially. So, should I try the foam roller before going to someone that can help with the surgery?

  135. S. Lee

    I had hip pain and went to my chiropractor of 30 years. He said my leg length was off at least a half inch. Much more than usual. Then he did a technique he’d never done before. He corrected it by pulling hard on my right leg. A few days later. Leg pain at the knee. Sounds like what you’ve described but not sure ATB can be caused this way. Not an athlete….by any stretch of the imagination. LOL

  136. Lilla

    Operations and scar creams can be hardly cheap, or always produce
    the very best outcomes.

  137. parikshit

    I am a ayclist and got pain in outside of my right knee,I was on training on that day when pain comes and.after 30km ride it will sharp pain.MRI show nothing. But still I have pain.plz tell me about this because I am on rest from last 2. months.tthanks

  138. Alan Dean

    my wife is an RN and on her feet 12 hours a day and has developed this. Will ultra sound or lasers light therapy help. I was wondering if she should just take off a month or so. When they started the 12 hour shifts the nurses stared getting heel pain and knee pain and most have what appears to be this. Please email back with advice.

  139. Emily

    Just wanted to share my IT band syndrome story. I am a 17 year old girl that runs long distance and I was in mid track season when I started having pain on the outer side of my left knee. I was forced to quit all running activities because I could only run a half mile without my knee hurting. Multiple doctors diagnosed me with IT band syndrome, and I did 6 weeks of physical therapy to strengthen my apparently weak hips and glutes. After this gave no positive results, I had x-Ray and MRI, which were also negative. Finally, after 11 months of rest and ice and physical therapy and tests and pain, my orthopedic doctor referred me to a local physiatrist. The physiatrist discovered that the problem likely originated in my lower leg, instead of my hips and glutes. The muscle on the outer part of my lower leg was extremely tense, which was unnoticeable to me until he pointed it out. The muscle had tightened up during my training season, and with all of the continued strengthening during PT, had tightened even more and had “forgotten” what its resting length was supposed to be, and instead was constantly contracted. This tight muscle, which apparently got especially tight about a half mile into a run, was putting pressure on the nerve that runs alongside the outer knee. The physiatrist gave me two rounds of trigger point injections, which essentially release the muscle a little bit at a time, and I was able to run over a mile immediately. The results were so shocking, and I was ecstatic to finally be healed after a year of hurting. I say all this simply to let everyone know that my symptoms were practically identical with the symptoms of IT band syndrome, and I was even misdiagnosed with the syndrome by multiple doctors. So, if it seems as if your IT band syndrome is chronic or doesn’t get better with treatment or resting, don’t rule out a pinched nerve. Discuss the possibility of a nerve issue instead of a orthopedic issue with your doctor. All it may require is a few rounds of trigger point injections to heal you. Thank God I found a physiatrist that knew what to look for.

  140. Whitney

    Any advice for the non-athlete whose IT band flares up? A few trips to the chiropractor and some at-home exercises help, but I can’t figure out why I get this every few months. The pain is only in my hip and sometimes a portion of my right glute, but when I do the foam roll exercises, I can feel the tightness from my hip to almost my knee.

  141. Linda W.

    I was a runner and very active until 5 years ago when I awoke with severe foot pain. Long story short, I have seen numerous podiatrists, orthopedists, physiatrists, physical therapists, yadda, yadda, yadda to little avail. I have bought 4 pair of custom orthotics…and have actually worn them for months with no help. I recently changed massage ladies and the new one feels that I have very tight IB bands. Could this cause ball of the foot pain?

  142. Susanne Krivit

    I’m 60, active and in good shape. I was diagnosed with IT Band inflammation recently when my ortho surgeon reviewed an MRI. I have been going to a Physical Therapist since March when I first injured my knee while using a rowing machine. The pain has changed over time. Now it hurts when I go down stairs, so I go one step at a time putting very little weight on it and it seems to work. But I make a false move once in a while and the pain comes back. My question/issue is that I have continued to run. Since running did not cause the injury and it I even feel better after running – should I stop running? I run 3 miles 3 – 5 time a week. Also, I use a standing desk at work and it occurred to me that maybe I should try sitting. Any thoughts? My doctor and PT said – don’t do anything that hurts, so up to now that is what I have done. But as the months pass I want to try other things (but hopefully not the steroid injections my doctor suggested!!).

  143. Madeline Stevens

    Hi, So i have a weird situation from what i can see. I am not a runner nor athletic thankfully blessed with a fit physique and the love of weights and balance/yoga/pilates etc. 3 years ago i had a undiagnosed broken ankle which i walked on for 18 months before they finally picked up on it and had it operated on 10 months ago. Since the OP i have had severe ITB issues with the opposite leg that i had the broken ankle, Apparently this is due to compensation and obviously changing my whole body functionality. I dont have too much pain at the gym unless i am completing anything with the single leg bent which concerns me on the pressure im putting on the other leg. I am not sure other then continuing to get stronger and rolling the ITB out on how to fix this???? all the help i read are due to running which I dont do.

    Thanks to anyone that can help me in any way!! 🙂

  144. Nancy Fintak

    I had a total right knee replacement 10 years ago. Lots of complications from infection and 4 more surgeries. Had a PICC LINE for 8+ weeks.
    The knee healed and finally I was no longer in pain.
    More than a month ago I began having pain along my hip to the outside of the knee. After about two weeks I went to the ER because the pain was so severe, I can barely walk. The doctor diagnosed Iliotibial Band Syndrome. In my situation it has nothing to do with running. It’s an “overuse” condition, and my irregular gait has been considered the cause. The ER doctor prescribed a 2 day script for Hyrodcodone and it helped the pain be tolerable.
    At the almost 6 week mark the pain is worse. Just lying in bed hurts. I’ve limited my activities. I take ibuprofen but get no relief.
    Should I consult the orthopedic specialist who performed the initial surgery? Is an MRI possible with my knee made of titanium and plastic? How long does this condition last? Is it permanent? Ice doesn’t help. Neither does stretching, it makes it worse.
    Any ideas?

  145. Cindy Deller

    I am 10 weeks out from a broken kneecap. Can this be the cause of IBR? It is affected the same side of my leg.

  146. Mary Franco

    I am 62 and an experienced long distance walker. After an enjoyable 100 mile walk in the Scottish highlands with NO orthopedic issues, I did another 100 mile walk in Ireland (training up for both of these ahead of time). However, on the Ireland trip, after only 4 days of walking (15 miles day -typical of all these treks) I developed right sided thigh pain, about midway between my hip and knee. The pain is almost lateral, but a bit toward anterior. It is a deep aching pain. No knee or hip pain. 4 months after the walk when it had not gone away, I saw my doc who did an Xray which was negative and diagnosed IT Band syndrome, even though I have no knee pain at all. I am now in my 4th week of physical therapy (stretching, strengthening buttocks and abductors, foam rolling massage) with no significant improvement. When using the foam roller it feels like I am rolling over a bulge or knot in one spot mid thigh. Still think it is IT Band? I worried about a tibial stress fracture or muscle tear.

  147. Kimberly

    I read through many of the above posts but couldn’t find my case.
    I am 53 yr old ,
    I had a farm injury a month and a half ago where with sudden and great force my hips were thrust sideways to my left, dislocating my left hip.
    By the time I inched about 80′ to my golf cart and made 2 vehicle transfers my hip managed to mostly relocate.
    After a CT , Xrays, and MRI it was determined I had a lengthwise tear in the IT Band and in the muscle over the hip.
    I am walking, can do stairs, drive a stickshift, and carry 50# bags of feed. However, I can’t stand for more than 10 min, like in line at the bank, or my sacrum hurts.
    More than pain, it is sudden and complete exhaustion/ weekness!
    I have a gym membership so I get massages 3xs/week . My hip feels….loose , double jointed…when I stand up straight and walk a straight line. It doesn’t hurt much and I only took pain pills for first 2 days in hospital.
    What can/should I do? The Dr said let pain be my guide. It doesn’t during activity, just that night and next day it aches.

  148. Lisa P

    I am a dog walker so do the same walk daily I am in terrible pian with IT band syndrome. my chiropractor suggested I get an excercise bike, I think this may have made things worse. If your in pain how can this help you??
    Any advise

  149. Terry

    Fantastic! Thank you for the much-needed information. I suffered from IT Band Syndrome about 20 years ago, but I had no idea what caused it. It’s been back for about five years, and I didn’t realize it was the same thing I’d had before, so I had no clue how to treat it. Now, thanks to you, I do!

  150. Travis Williams

    Myself and several colleagues have been experiencing knee pain. I have attributed the pain to IT band issues. Each one of us has experienced the pain in our right leg only. We are detectives and wear plain clothes with a hip holster on the right side. Is it possible the wearing of the holster has aggravated the hip portion of the IT band? What sort of treatment would you suggest?

  151. Dianne

    Hi I am a indoor cyclist and have been having pain after I ride on the outside of my right knee (only) for a while. I also notice a burning type pain at the hip end of my IT band sometimes. I am aware that it is mostly due to over use.
    I don`t do any impact running or jumping and do at least 1-2 stretch classes plus weights each week.
    I don`t roll out my IT band directly (way too painful), but use the foam roller for other parts of my legs, hips and back. I also have regular massages.
    Apart from stretches is there anything else I could be looking at?

  152. Julia Hughes

    Broke my femur in 2/2013 and had 2 surgeries. Because of a fall 2weeks after the first surgery, my left leg is now 3/4″ shorter than the right. I’m coming up on 3 years since injury and I’m still in a walker. The leg was classified as finally healed in 4/2016 but because of a shorter leg and IT band issues, I am in constant pain. I am still doing PT twice a week and after foam rolling, it feels okay for a few hours but goes back to hurting constantly. What can I do to get this pain resolved? Because of it my rehab is going very slow. I know I need to get the sole on my show built up to allow for the 3/4″ difference in leg length. My hip is constantly hurting as well. It’s been almost 3 years and I am ready to give up. I’m tired of chronic pain, heavy pain meds, etc. the IT band is keeping me from progressing in my PT and possibly finally walking on my own. Anyone out there with any ideas, please share ! Thank you

  153. Howard

    Hi I’m a 60 yr old retired firefighter here in Louisiana…my wife and I play a lot of ‘Pickleball” for recreation…about a year ago I had developed what I believe was a bad case of IT band syndrome…in my left leg…it took approx 6 weeks to get over that…jus recently it has returned…seems worse than before…my knee is very tight and a little painful to bend…the tightness radiates down to my ankle and foot…also a very distinct pop in the knee area when arising from a siting position…soreness on the outside of the knee…
    Doing some PT at home…and taking it easy and staying off the court a few days…
    My question is…I suffer with supination of my feet…I’ve invested in shoe inserts…is there anything else I can do in the future to NOT Get this again…
    Thks so much

  154. Deanna Squyres

    Hi, I’m a 67 yr old woman who has just been diagnosed with IT Band syndrome in my left leg. I’m not a runner or athlete, but once was a runner and an avid water skier during summer months. I’m developing arthritis in my left knew which causes pain. Could that be the cause of the IT Band problems? I have been prescribed 6 weeks of PT but wondering if there is anything else I can do for this very uncomfortable pain. Thanks so much.

  155. Barrie

    I’ve had tenderness on my right hip for the last 9 months. I was running 5 months ago and suddenly felt my hamstring burn and ache along with a crippling pain deep in the center of my right buttock. I’ve been in PT for 5 weeks now. I have not been able to run for 5 months since this happened. An MRI and x ray have revealed no tears, avulsions nor fractures. The pain in my buttock has since gone, but my hip is still tender and that 1 tiny spot high and inside my right hamstring is painful as soon as I try to even jog. I’m at my wits end here, so if anyone has any tips, I’d be open to hearing them. I’m a dedicated runner, so being out of running for 5 months has been hell. Thanks.

  156. Melissa v

    I had this starting sophomore year in high school, went to a doctor and they did nothing for me… my lower back really started hurting too. Had minimal knee pain.. worst in the hip and back. Started going to a chiropractor with the back pain and they would adjust me as if it was something wrong with my back. It never got better. I worked out a lot and kinda stopped after high school.. started working full time and it came back. It was so bad I was limping and it got to points where if I even picked up something less than five pounds it felt like my Lower back was going to tear.. I had to pull my abs all the way in to make the pain be bearable.. I started going to a new chiropractor and he began to try to figure it out. He started by adjusting my back. That didn’t work.. he then used a metal thing idk what it’s called he used it to rub out my muscles it hurt rly bad. He started on my hip since that was the main source of pain.. it still didn’t get better. He saw I had a flat foot and I started wearing a shoe insert, still didn’t get better. Then finally he was looking for an answer and was rolling my leg.. he hit a spot and I was like woah.. what is that. And he rolled it out with the metal thing.. it was so relieving. A knot on my IT band. He treated it with rolling and that electric stimulation machine. It was like a miracle ! It had almost been five years until someone figured it out. I never would have thought. A knot on my leg could have caused all those problems. But I’m still not sure what caused it in the first place??

  157. Kathy LaGrouw

    I’m 59 (not a runner) but play tennis, gym and walk the dog. The past few weeks I have had extreme IT band pain from the hip to the knee on right side only – the pain is excruciating at night in bed preventing sleep. My hip muscles are not week and back is ok.
    Suspected it could be Hoka one one shoes (very cushioning for my worn knees) but have changed back to NB shoes and doesn’t seem to be easing. I am now suspecting it could be orthotics (which I have to wear for over pronation – not new I’ve had to wear for years)I’m just wondering if the orthotic and change of shoe may be over correcting pronation and causing me to use the outside of the foot too much….I have read that bow legged people get IT band pain from this foot action. Still doesn’t explain why on one side only….I’m not sure who to see as don’t have a lot of faith in physios. I will play with the orthotics maybe putting a layer on the lateral edge and report if it helps

  158. Gabriela Pinto

    Hello. I am 25 years old. I have been athlete all my life and played soccer for my University. I graduated two years ago. Ever since I graduated I been having IT Band problems ( right side). I love working out, such as doing weight training, running, and playing soccer for a recretional team. As far as running goes: I only run in an elliptical. My IT Band can no longer afford to run outside. Today when I woke up, I realized that it is swollen on the upper side near my hip. I am extremely upset and frustrated. I also discovered that I have more pain when I gain weight. I tried doing therapy and it worked for a while, but it did nothing for me long term.

    I just want to be able to run again outside or anywhere and not change my workout routines because of this. Is It band a long term problem that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life? What should be my next step?

    I hope I get a respond!

  159. Athletico

    Hi Gabriella – Your health is important to us. Please give us a call at 1-877-ATHLETICO so we can discuss your symptoms/injury. Thanks!

  160. Penni parker

    Great article.!!my son is not doing any sports at this time but has this issue.he is tall and takes long steps when he walks.go this cause it too?

  161. Lee

    My daughter is 16 years old, she is a competitive swimmer and a basketball player. She has been doing both of these sports for 10 years. Last summer she suffered an LCL sprain during a basketball game. This caused her to miss a season of swim. She underwent extensive PT for the LCL sprain. She was cleared to play bball again, but reinjured her knee in a game, upon impact with another player. She has had Xrays, MRI and 3T MRI and no ligament damage at all. Back to PT and orthopedic surgeon. Determined it was a IT Band syndrome. She had surgery in January to “loosen” it. More PT and then even more PT. She was then cleared to swim and play bball and she was feeling good. A few weeks a ago, she developed a strange “red bruise” on the lateral side of her right leg, below the scar from surgery. It was somewhat painful. The last week during a swim meet, she did a flip turn felt a “pop” and couldn’t exit the pool on her own. She has been using crutches since. We had an MRI and MRA yesterday and results are all “normal” no tears or vascular issues. Could this be a build up of scar tissue that hasn’t been dealt with properly from surgery? Is she not stretching properly? She is extremely frustrated she is tired of sitting on the deck and on the bench watching wanting to play! Any suggestions? This odd bruising has occurred before as well, but goes away on its own. ANY ADVICE APPRECIATED

  162. Athletico

    Hi Lee – We certainly want to help with your daughter’s health. Please give us a call at 1-877-ATHLETICO so we can discuss her symptoms/injury. Thanks!

  163. Kristin

    This is super helpful! I had an inner hip injury a couple of months ago that hasn’t seemed to heal up despite rest, but did feel like it was improving, so I went on a four mile walk today that involved a lot of stairs. It was the most exercise I had done since the injury. I had to stop, because pain was beginning to set in at the leg area. I came home and started to stretch a heard a pop in my inner thigh area. The pain set in later in the day especially when it has come to walking any distances and especially going down stairs (not so much up). Does this sound like IT band syndrome brought up by my hip injury? I’m trying to figure out what I should do next. I’m icing, elevating, and resting for the next few days. Thanks for all the guidance you’ve already given to everyone. I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

  164. Dalila Johnson

    I am an avid hiker and after hiking and backpacking part of the John Muir Trail iwith a 45lb pack and immediately after hiking to half dome, my back went out and now my hips are very weak. They feel unstable and any sudden move feels like I’m loosing balance. I had IT band issues two years ago on one side of my leg and now I have it on both and in addition my lower back went out twice. I am currently getting physical therapy but I feel progress is slow even though I do all my exercises at home including those recommended here. I’m desperate because I miss the outdoor and little local hikes don’t cut it for me. I’m used to hiking all the great mountains in Southern California. I would like to know what more can I do to speed my recovery or what am I doing wrong.

  165. Bridget Doyle

    After months and months in physical therapy, we tried everything. Strengthening glutes and hips, foam roller, unique/random knee stretches every 2 hours, massage, acupuncture, cupping, everything. I was preparing for a life in which I would never run for more than 3 minutes again. But, after taking a 9 hour flight to Germany, my IT band near the knee was flamed when I deboarded. This triggered by PT to suggest doing the Cobra every 2 hours to move a disc in my back back in place (a summary of what could have been going on). I was back to normal in a week. The cobras every two hours are annoyingggg. But obviously worth it!

  166. Ken

    My IT Band pain is not at my knee but the middle of my thigh. I had hip replacement surgery and 5 days later (after my 2nd post-op PT session) I had severe pain and the entire IT Band was inflamed and could not be touched without excruciating pain. My therapist worked the band for 5 straight days just to get the inflammation and pain down to a tolerable level. I’m now 5 weeks post-op and the pain and tenderness is still present but at a very specific point mid-thigh. My surgeon has never seen this type of post-op complication (he is a nationally recognized expert in hip replacements). Could the pain be from the femur fracturing?

  167. Danie

    Is it normal to have this pain even when you don’t exercise? My knee blocks even during my sleep, it hurts so much that I need to use both arms to move it around, and without bending!

  168. Pat

    I’m (was) a bowler. About 4 yrs. ago on my approach, I felt a large pop behind my knee. The guy next to me heard it too. My leg went numb and I could not put my weight on it. I went to er and they took an X-ray and told me it wasn’t broke and sent me home. I never thought it was. My IT band was tight, my knee hurt and I could not put weight on my ankle. After trips to several different ortho doctors, I have a $1,000.00 knee brace and still have more pain in my hip, ankle and IT band than I do in my knee. Knee replacement surgery has been recommended but I was told nothing is wrong with the hip and ankle. The doctors don’t even mention the IT band. A massage therapist explained the IT band.

  169. Kathy

    Shoveling heavy wet snow Dec 28th 2018. Burning pain down outside of right leg, groin area, middle of buttocks. Pain with walking so use crutches for light weight bearing. Saw chiropractor, massage therapist, and FP x3. Going to PT given stretching exercises. Having MRI tomorrow. Possible diagnosis given so far. Herniated disc, pinched nerve, IT band inflammation. No back pain.

  170. J Heald

    Since 2014 I have had hip pain in both hips which was diagnosed as trochanteric bursitis. My problems started after moving to a job where I spent a lot more time sitting down. Two cortisone injections did absolutely nothing. Then a year ago I developed stiffness and pain in my left knee which became so severe I had to use crutches to walk. An MRI scan showed no arthritis or tears – just inflammation around the joint. I saw a physiotherapist who took one look at me and diagnosed ITBS. – In fact the IT band in my left leg was the tightest she had come across in her 20 year career. She also pointed out that I had no glutes to speak of! I have been diligently doing strengthening exercises every day and hydrotherapy three times a week but my progress is snail-like in its speed. I still need a walking stick and cannot stand for longer than a minute or two. I have worn orthotics for 8 months and they have made no difference. I have never been sporty but a positive outcome is that I now swim as well as doing hydrotherapy so my fitness is slowly improving. If only I had visited a physio 5 years ago when I first developed hip pain…

  171. Larry Melton

    I’m 70 yrs and injured my right IT band trying to act like I was 55 and running up stairs. My doctor prescribed exercises and in about three weeks 90% of the pain was gone. However, my left side became jealous because it was not getting attention so it started hurting to let me know. I went to an orthopedic doctor who sent me to physical therapy. About a month of three times a week and I was slowly getting better. I laid off for a week as I am going on a trip across country and suddenly my pain in the right and left hip had come back with a vengeance. I even feel what I can only describe as shin splints in my right shin. I’ll be gone for a month and I won’t have access to a physical therapist during my absence.

  172. Joyce Barnes

    I am 70 years old and for the past 8 years I have been suffering with tenderness to the touch of the upper part of my left leg , its like someone is stabbing me with needles .. I can’t stand the pain , there is nothing I can do to get rid of it . I have been to therapy an take pain pills ,, they have even did the rolling bar and cupping on me , I am ready for them to cut my leg off to get rid of the pain , cause I can’t enjoy life .. My legs an feet hurt my family is the one’s that suffer ..We are at our wits end plus now our money is running out to , since there is no answers . Please we need help !!!!

  173. Athletico

    Dealing with persistent pain and feeling like you don’t have the answers to control it is incredibly frustrating Joyce. It sounds like your pain experience is impacting various aspect of your life. Given that pain can be complex in nature and varies for every individual patient, it would be best to have you come in and speak personally with one of our pain therapy specialists. We welcome the opportunity to help you better understand why your pain persists and hopefully give you tools to empower you to take back control.

  174. Debra

    Fell on my right knee three times, one right after the other. Since then, anything that lightly touches the area which is the lateral aspect of my knee would send excruciating pain. Anything now that touches it with a harder force like bumping into items still sends pain to the area but lesser.The injury happened in Nov 2019 and still with the same issue but to a lesser degree in September 2020. Could this be an IT band issue? Should it not have healed by now? I do run about 10 miles per week.

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