Your Ultimate Guide To IT Band Syndrome For Runners


What is IT band syndrome:

IT band syndrome is the irritation of the tendinous sheath of the ilio-tibial tract, located along your lateral thigh. It also is commonly diagnosed for hip flexor pain and lateral knee pain, the two junctions for which the “IT band” attaches to the skeletal system. At the hip it attaches at the TFL or tensor fascia latae, a common hip flexor, and at the lower limb it attaches to your fibular head located on the lateral bone of your shin.

Symptoms of IT band syndrome:

  • Deep ache in the hip flexor                                     
  • Sharp or dull pain along the lateral knee
  • Stiffness of knee flexion
  • Calf tightness








When to see a Performance Therapist:

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms without improvement for more than 72 hours.  Scroll below for two pain elimination techniques specific for IT band syndrome in runners.

Also, seeing a performance therapist first is more efficient way to get results. Even if this is not within the scope of the clinician, they are able to refer out to the appropriate medical physician for further imaging and consultation if needed.

Schedule your evaluation with one of our running specialists here

What causes IT band syndrome:

IT band syndrome for runners can occur for a variety of reasons but what we have found to be most common is the lack of hip control due to:

  • Ineffective glute activation
  • Dominate TFL and lateral quadratus
  • “Pull” dominate running dysfunction
  • Improper running shoes

Pain Relief Techniques:

-Lateral Quad Mobilization

Place foam roller towards outside of the quad, NOT on the IT band! Find a tender spots and slowly bend knee through as much motion as you can. Should be slightly uncomfortable. Perform 3-5 different spots along the quad. Repeat both sides for 2 rounds.


-Glute-Hip Stretch

Hold stretch for 3-5 secs and slowly release, perform for minimum 2 minutes per leg.


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