The Luna App

Available in

Get App
Call Us 866-806-3599

Physical therapy for ITB syndrome

What is ITB syndrome?

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick group of fibers that runs along the outside of the thigh and knee. It’s common for patients (especially runners or cyclists) to experience problems with the section of the IT band that overlaps with the knee. That’s because the IT band is meant to glide smoothly over the knee as the leg bends and straightens. With overuse, however, too much friction can produce swelling and discomfort.

Though ITB syndrome can result from a number of specific physical traits, including bowed legs, one leg that’s longer than the other, or pronation, it can also be exacerbated by poor exercise technique. For example, failing to warm up or cool down or not resting enough between workouts can cause the IT band to swell. Fortunately, ITB syndrome rarely requires surgery, and can usually be resolved with time, rest, and physical therapy.

Source: WebMD

ITB syndrome symptoms

Symptoms of ITB syndrome can vary from person to person in both type and intensity, though the condition is most often characterized by pain on the outside of the knee. It’s also common for patients to experience a clicking sensation when they bend the leg, which is caused by the band rubbing against the knee.

Furthermore, patients may find that pain begins shortly after starting to exercise and lingers after exercise is complete. They may find that the knee is tender to the touch, or that the knee is red and warm soon after physical activity begins.

The most common symptoms of ITB syndrome include:

  • Pain on the outside of the knee
  • Knee pain while exercising
  • Clicking sensation in the knee

Source: MedicalNewsToday

What causes ITB syndrome?

ITB syndrome is typically caused by overuse, but certain physical traits and habits can make certain patients more susceptible to developing the condition. For example, patients with bowed legs, arthritis in the knees, uneven leg lengths, or weak core muscles tend to be more susceptible to developing ITB syndrome.

In addition, a number of specific exercise habits can place patients at risk. These include failing to stretch, warm up, or cool down; exercising for too long; wearing worn-out shoes; not resting long enough between workouts, or only running in one direction around a track or on a road.

The most common causes of ITB syndrome include:

  • Bowed legs
  • Arthritis in the knee
  • Failing to stretch, warm up, or cool down
  • Exercising too hard or for too long
  • Inappropriate footwear

Source: Cedars-Sinai

Physical therapy for ITB syndrome

A physical therapy program for ITB syndrome will usually begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s range of motion, strength, flexibility, and exercise habits. Once this evaluation is complete, the physical therapist will be equipped to create a personalized treatment plan based on the patient’s condition and goals.

When treating patients with ITB syndrome, physical therapists typically focus their efforts on increasing range of motion in the affected leg, strengthening the core and lower body, using manual therapy to target hard-to-treat areas, and creating exercises that mimic the way the body should move.

Source: Move Forward PT

Luna’s physical therapists treat
ITB syndrome

Luna employs a roster of physical therapists who specialize in treating patients with ITB syndrome. Our PTs will work with each patient to identify any traits or habits that may be contributing to their condition, and create a physical therapy routine designed to reduce pain, restore strength, and improve mobility.

Best of all, with Luna, patients can receive physical therapy for ITB syndrome right in the comfort of their own homes. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

Download the app

Enter your mobile number and we’ll send you a link to download the app (iOS/Android).

Ready to book? Download the Luna App to manage your appointments, message the Luna Concierge and your physical therapist, and more.