Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Why does the outside of my knee hurt?

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a continuation of the tendon portion of the tensor fascia lata (TFL) muscle, with some contribution from the gluteal muscles. Iliotibial band syndrome is a common injury affecting the lateral (outside) of the knee. This is an overuse injury caused by repetitive friction of the ITB over the lateral femoral epicondyle (a bony prominence in the outside of your knee). The ITB moves anterior (forward) to the epicondyle as the knee straightens and posterior (backwards) as the knee bends, remaining taut in both positions. This friction is at its maximum when your knee is bent to 30 degrees.


Risk factors for iliotibial band syndrome include:

  • repetitive running in the same direction (i.e. around a running track)
  • increasing your kilometers in training suddenly
  • increased or prolonged downhill running
  • weakness in the lateral (outside) glute muscles
  • weak hip abductors
  • limb length differences


Symptoms of ITB syndrome:

  • sharp pain, or burning pain, in the outside of the knee
  • Initially, exercise will begin pain free, but symptoms will develop after a certain time or distance
  • Symptoms often subside post exercise, but the pain can be reproducible over several runs of the same distance
  • sitting with your knee in a flexed position can aggravate the pain
  • In severe cases symptoms are reproduced when descending stairs
  • some tenderness through the outside of the knee with palpation
  • occasional swelling within the outside of the knee



  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Reduction in activity
  • Identifying and releasing myofascial restrictions
  • Strengthening program
  • Stretching program


Darwin Podiatry can perform a biomechanical assessment and provide a treatment plan for the diagnosis and management of lateral knee pain. Call us on 89419955 to make an appointment today.


Photo Attribution: <a href=’’>People photo created by jcomp –</a>

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