Symptoms and Signs of Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band Syndrome)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/3/2022

Doctor's Notes on Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band Syndrome)

Iliotibial band (IT band) syndrome is a condition resulting from inflammation of the iliotibial band, a band of fibers that begins at the iliac crest in the pelvis and runs on the outside part of the thigh until it attaches to the tibia (shinbone). The IT band helps stabilize the knee joint. IT band syndrome is typically caused by overuse and often occurs in long-distance runners. 

Signs and symptoms of IT band syndrome include pain on the outside of the knee. Other associated symptoms can include tenderness of the knee joint, radiation of pain in the hip, and worsening of the pain with the heel strike of walking or running. Walking up and down stairs can also cause pain.

What Is the Treatment for Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

There are a number of therapies that may help with iliotibial band syndrome. Surgery is rarely needed for this condition. Treatments may include:

  • Physical therapy and manual (massage) therapy
  • Resting the affected leg
  • Medications to control pain
  • Posture correction
  • Steroid injections into the affected area

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.