Knee Pain & The IT Band: Identifying IT Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries seen in runners and hikers. The IT band attaches to the knee and is essential in lateral stabilization. Luckily, preventative steps, self-care and massage therapy can be very effective in alleviating or eliminating symptoms.


  • Swelling and pain on the outside of the kneeITBand
  • Snapping hip pain as the IT band snaps back and forth over the point of the hip
  • Disappearance of pain when the band is stretched out and becomes more flexible


Commonly issues arise by over-development of lateral rotators of the hip and quadriceps.

This can occur due to:

  • Bicycling for long distances
  • Running or hiking long distances up or down-hill
  • Positioning the “toes-in” excessively when sitting
  • Abnormalities in leg or foot anatomy
  • Weak hip abductor muscles

Treatment & Prevention:

Given the number of possible origins for IT band issues, a Massage Specialists practitioner will vary their approach to your individual needs. Because IT Band Syndrome is a soft tissue injury, massage therapy is one of the most effective means of treating it.

Healing can also be expedited with diligent self-care such as:
  • Rest
  • Using a foam roller (we have them available for purchase along with instructions)
  • Stretching
  • Running on softer surfaces like dirt and grass (avoid concrete)
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes that aren't worn out
  • Warm up properly (walk) before running
A Massage Specialists practitioner will further advise you on appropriate stretches, activity modification, self-massage, and alternative exercises.  We have extensive experience treating professional athletes and are dedicated to helping you reduce pain and achieve optimum function.