Your Iliotibial Band, or “IT Band” for short, is a thick area of fascia along the lateral side of your thigh which extends from the lateral part of the pelvis all the way down to the lateral part of the knee. If you have pain in this area you will likely experience pain either at the hip, lateral part of the knee, and / or the lateral part of the thigh. The most common area to experience pain with IT band tightness is the lateral part of the knee. This pain can be described as a feeling of tightness and restricts movement. You can also feel a sensation of clicking on the outside of the knee joint.
How Physical Therapy Helps IT Band Pain
This is a common injury in long distance runners and cyclists due to the unique demands of these sports. This pain typically presents itself when the quadriceps, TFL, and other anterior thigh muscles become overdeveloped and the lateral and posterior hip muscles become underdeveloped. When this happens, a muscular imbalance occurs that shifts the stress of the IT band enough to cause pain. Luckily, you are able to eliminate this pain by changing faulty movement mechanics, developing the underdeveloped muscles, and working on the soft tissue structures around the IT band.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot stretch your IT band or foam roll all of your pain away. However, you can stretch the muscles around the IT band and correct the muscle imbalances that are causing the tightness. Call us today to find out how we can help you eliminate pain quickly and get back to what you love to do!