Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) Treatment

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury of the knee most common in runners. The iliotibial tract, or IT band, is a thick band of fibers running from your hipbone to your knee. It’s the IT band's job to assist in stabilizing and moving the joint. When ITBS occurs, the IT band becomes tightened or inflamed, causing movement of the knee to be painful. People most often experience symptoms of soreness, stinging, swelling, and sharp pain at the outside of their knee. Learn more about iliotibial band syndrome here. 

Due to the location of the IT band, ITBS often has associated pain located in the hip and thigh. Commonly, pain in any part of your thigh is diagnosed as ITBS. However, by definition ITBS is pain located on the outside of your knee. Pain experienced in the hip, hamstring, thigh, and groin have similar treatment options and may be related to your ITBS.

Is There a Way to Treat ITBS?

Thankfully, ITBS is treatable by following a well rounded treatment regime. In order to properly cure your ITBS you must consistently incorporate stretches, strength exercises, rest from running, and wearing a brace into your daily routine.

Stretches: Regularly stretching out your IT band will workout your injury to relieve pain. Proper stretching techniques will also help to prevent future injury of your IT band. Read about different stretches to try here.

Exercises: ITBS is most often caused by overusing the knee, creating extreme stress on the joint. Strength exercises focused on the thigh, knee, and hips will help to deter this stress. Strengthening exercises will also help to prevent future and further injury. Read about different exercises to try here.

Rest: In order to feel a full recover you must allow your body to rest and heal. When you feel the symptoms of ITBS take a break from running or whatever triggered the pain.

Brace: wearing a brace in the area where ITBS occurs is an easy and effective way to give your body the extra support and compression it needs.

The IT Knee Strap - The IT band knee strap from BraceAbility stabilizes the knee by applying pressure to the IT band. This pressure will assist in alleviating the pain you feel from ITBS. The strap should be worn two to three inches above your knee, allowing for targeted compression. You should wear the strap as frequently as possible, but especially while running. 

Treatments for Injuries Similar to or Related to ITBS:

Hip and Groin Wraps- If you’re experiencing hip pain and wonder if it’s ITBS, it may be a related companion. Most commonly pain in this area is caused by knots or myofascial trigger points. These trigger points are usually located in the hips but the pain may spread down the thigh. BraceAbility sells many hip and groin wraps to provide compression treatment for the hip or groin pain you may be experiencing, whether it’s related or unrelated to ITBS. 

Injuries treated with the Hip and Groin Wrap:

  • Groin strains

  • Groin pulls

  • Hip abductor injuries

  • Hip flexor strains

  • Hip tendonitis

  • Hip arthritis

  • Post-pregnancy pubic symphysis dysfunction

Cold Therapy Hip Wraps - Because hip pain is often a companion of ITBS, cold therapy hip support is a great way to treat hip pain felt from ITBS. Applying ice to any affected injury is always a good idea, but not always an easy task. BraceAbility's Cold Therapy Hip Support Ice Wrap streamlined this process to treat injuries efficiently. The compression offered from the cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and promote blood flow. Pain you may be feeling in your hip from strain on your IT band is one of many injuries this type of hip wrap can properly treat. 

Injuries treated with the cold therapy hip wraps:

  • Arthritis

  • Hip fractures

  • Muscle or tendon strains

  • Tendinitis

  • ITBS pain in hip

Thigh & Hamstring Compression Sleeves: Compression sleeves warm, support, and compress the thigh when one is engaged in high-intensity athletic activity. In many cases injury in one’s hamstrings or quadriceps are signs of problems elsewhere, such as the hip or knee. Compression sleeves enhance blood flow, speeds lactic acid removal, and encourage quicker healing. These qualities help to improve endurance, recover from a tough workout, or speed along direct injuries to the hamstring or quadriceps. Because injuries to the hamstrings and quadriceps are often related to the knee or hip, compression sleeves offer great preventive measure for all upper leg issues. BraceAbility has a variety of thigh and compression sleeves to treat such injuries. 

  • Strains and pulls of hamstrings

  • Muscle soreness

  • Injury rehab and other sources of thigh pain