Iliotibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome - "runners knee"

The Iliotibial band (ITB) is a large, fibrous, connective tissue band extending from the hip to the outside of the knee. It assists in stabilising the hip and knee, particularly in activities such as running.

The ITB may become tight for a number of reasons. This can cause pain, commonly on the outside of the knee.  This tightness can cause friction or rubbing of the band over the knee joint which cause clicking and discomfort during movement of the knee.  This is termed ITB Friction Syndrome, also known as ‘runners knee’

Pain and clicking is often worse when descending slopes or stairs and getting up from a seated position.

Causes of tightness within the ITB can include:

  • Poor foot biomechanics e.g overpronation
  • Incorrect footwear
  • Leg length difference
  • Tight muscles such as Hamstrings, Calves, Gluteals, Quadriceps and Hip Flexors
  • Weak hip stabilising muscles and poor core stability
  • Overtraining

Self treatment that may be helpful initially

  • Icing
  • Non-steriodal antiinflammatories
  • Massage to the outside of your thigh.
  • Rest from aggravating activities.