Iliotibial Band Syndrome – The Outside of My Knee Hurts!

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (sometimes also known as runner’s knee) causes pain at the outside of the knee, due to repetitive friction of the IT band rubbing over the top of the femur (large bone in the lower leg) during knee flexion.  This is mainly an overuse/overtraining problem.

Specific symptoms include tightness, swelling, and pain that increases over time or duration of exercise.

What causes this?

Again, this is more frequent in women due to a wider hip and an increased Q angle (see Patelofemoral Knee Pain for a longer explanation).

Poor warm-up.

Poor cool down.

Poor progression.

Weak abductors (there are those glutes again!)

Weak multifidus (muscle in the upper butt/low back).


RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation

Stretching, foam rolling, and/or trigger ball of the IT band.


Adequate warm-up and cool down.

Proper progression – don’t progress more than 10% for aerobics, 20% in the weight room for either load, intensity or duration.

Avoid movements that exacerbate problem.

Find and invest in good shoes!

If you are a runner, vary your terrain, distance, direction, etc.

Strengthen abductors and multifidus.


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