What Causes Iliotibial Band Syndrome Hip Pain

The iliotibial band, or IT band, is the fibrous tissue that extends from the top of your hip to the outside of your shin, just below your knee. Its main function is to stabilize the thigh muscles, so there is less strain on your knee. When it tightens or swells, it causes IT band disease.

IT band disease is caused by overuse, and it is common for enduring athletes such as runners and cyclists. It affects the tissues that extend from the side of your hips to the bottom beyond your knee. Often, inflammation manifests itself as pain outside the knee, but it can leave you with severe pain in your hip.

Researchers have found that weak hip muscles can be one of the main reasons why people contract IT band disease. Usually, hip weakness contributes to poor movement patterns; Over time, the bandwidth of the IT band increases.

Who is at risk?

Iliotibial band syndrome is common in athletes and runners. IT band disease can cause an IT band to contract and cause a condition called External Snapping hip. This is where the IT band penetrates into the larger trochanter and causes pain or even audible noise or pop visible.

IT band disease can be treated with rest, activity adjustment, foam folding and body treatments to stretch the IT band. If conservative measures fail to improve the status of an IT band for external photography, Hip Arthroscopy may be taken to extend the IT band.

Why are only some runners affected?

There are a number of factors that are considered to contribute to the development of iliotibial band syndrome;

Doing too much too soon; It has been shown that runners who have a range of kilometers based on their experience will be at greater risk of developing ITB friction. This is in line with research showing that one of the main risk factors for running injuries.

Hip and thigh strength; Most authors agree that runners who experience ITB friction pain show weakness in the main muscles used to run. Some studies have shown that quadriceps and hamstrings are involved, others that the muscles involved in hip abduction are not functioning properly.

This is similar to what we know about ITB in relation to when symptoms appear, often people with this condition will be able to run to a certain distance or time, and then begin to experience pain. This can indicate fatigue of the muscles used to run and cause changes in how the hip performs.

Symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome hip pain

The main symptom of this condition is pain on the outside of the upper limb. Pain can be reduced as soon as the patient warms up to exercise. However, they may find that the pain becomes worse over time when they exercise.

Other symptoms of IT band disease are as follows.

  • Burning, stinging, or tenderness on the outside of the knee
  • Feeling pain in the upper and lower leg
  • Redness and warmth on the knee’s outer side
  • Pain outside your knee when walking or running.
  • A clicking sensation where the band rubs the knee
  • Your hip or knee feels hot and red.
  • Outside your knee or hip can be soft to the touch.
  • You feel the sensation of rubbing the side of your knee.
  • You feel pain or tenderness in your buttocks.

Causes of iliotibial band syndrome hip pain

IT band syndrome is mainly due to overuse injuries that are commonly seen in long-distance runners, cyclists, or weight lifts. However, other issues can lead to the disease, including poor muscle flexibility or asymmetry in an individual anatomy that extends one leg over another. These conditions can strengthen the IT band, causing pain and discomfort.

Unsupportive or worn-out footwear; when we wear shoes, they become a place where we walk and can support the feet and ankles or let them rotate in all directions. Your shoes can have a profound effect on the mechanics of the feet and legs, how your feet should function with each step you take, and how your ITB works.

Weak gluteal muscles; weakness in your gluteal muscles can trigger excessive activity in the muscles called the tensor fascia latae, which is attached to the ITB and can lead to more tension and compression of the ITB.

Tight ITB; if you do not remember the last time you stretched your iliotibial band or went well on your foam roller, there is a good chance that you may have ITB tightness. The compression tape will move more violently over the bone marrow or the layer of fat involved, causing pain and damage.

Inefficient leg biomechanics; by biomechanics, we mean how the bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments of your legs and feet are positioned and work together to create movement. Impaired mobility, even if you are on your feet, can have a chain reaction on the foot, which can lead to further stress on ITB.

Increasing your running distance; The more you run, the more your ITB is used in one session without space for rest and repair, and it becomes more dangerous for damage. If you run every day, you may be using your ITB too much faster than your body can recover as well.

Increased Activity; Increased running distance, or intense long-term exercise, can cause pain and swelling associated with iliotibial band disease. Typically, though, the culprit involves muscle imbalance, weakness, and loss of flexibility of hip flexors, hip replacements, internal rotators, and gluteus maximus and medius.


A physician can diagnose IT band disease on the basis of a patient’s medical history, symptoms, and physical examination. However, this is not the only cause of external knee pain. Therefore, the patient may need an x-ray to rule out other causes.


As your knee bends and expands, the IT band rubs against the thigh bone causing inflammation. When an IT band is on fire, it does not move easily, causing pain. It can be a difficult wound to heal and take a long time to overcome. Here are some tips that can prevent IT band disease and help you recover.

  • Apart from setting ice and resting for a few days, you may need to change your running o exercise routine. Sometimes this can be as simple as avoiding repetitive movements.
  • Remember to stretch to keep the hips relaxed with the IT band. Use a foam roller or tennis ball to make the muscles tense. Focus on hip flexors, hip flexors, internal rotations, and gluteus maximus and medius as you stretch.
  • Strengthen the most affected muscles, such as those of your hips and thighs, by performing exercises that target large groups of muscles.
  • Excessive shoes can cause your feet to fall to the wrong angles, stressing the knees and hips. Keeping your shoes within the recommended distance is important.

Resolving your IT band disease can be as easy as changing the way you run it. Get a professional to watch your run – using their skills can help you adjust your operating techniques to get to the root of the problem. If your pain lasts longer than a few weeks after trying the above tips, it may be time to talk to your healthcare provider for more personal treatment.

Treatment of iliotibial band syndrome hip pain

Conservative treatment options usually reduce the risk of IT band disease. Patients can start with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) or take anti-inflammatory drugs.

1. Strength exercise

Exercise therapy is generally considered to be an important factor in relieving the pain of ITB friction, there is good evidence that strengthening hip abductors will lead to a reduction in symptoms, this is because these muscles help control the position of the knee and pelvis. during the strike phase of the running leg.

There may also be other areas that need to be strengthened to further reduce symptoms, such as hamstrings and basic muscles. Once an individual muscle becomes stronger it is important to include more running exercises in order to make the transfer of new strength into running performance.

2. Ice

IT Band disease is usually caused by a specific event. Later, there is usually an inflammatory process that occurs. Apply ice around the knee, outside the thigh, and in your most painful area. The rule of icing is to use ice no more than twenty minutes per hour.

Do not apply ice directly against the skin, especially if you are using a gel pack. People who have a bad circulatory system or a degenerative feeling should be very careful when setting ice. A bag of frozen peas can be a cheap alternative.

3. Check your shoes

Your shoes may wear out and may cause pain. Keep in mind that the inner cushion and shoe design can be worn before its external appearance. If this happens, the shoe can no longer adequately control the improper movement of the foot and heel. This can lead to IT Band Disease or other issues related to the hip, knee, or ankle.

If you are approaching those miles, then it may be time for a change. If you are not sure if your shoes are working properly, visit your running shoe store. Trained staff can inspect your shoes if they are worn out. They may ask you to walk or run to check your pace to fit in a suitable shoe. Another option to help control foot mechanics is a top orthotic counter.

4. Improve your mobility

Poor mobility of the lower leg or pelvic as well as myofascial barriers is strongly associated with ITBS. The harder the IT Band becomes, the more likely it is to rub and become a pain. I recommend using a foam roller or Thera-Band Roller Massager to handle stiffness in the quadriceps and IT Band.

You can also use tennis or lacrosse ball to properly stimulate the muscles of the Tensor fasciae latae (TFL). Stretching an IT or TFL band is very difficult, so I often use other mobilization techniques. However, I recommend stretching the pelvic and hip slightly.

5. Gait analyzed while running

Violation of motion or running can increase your risk of getting IT Band Disease. Excessive walking tends to occur during running downhill. Scissors occur when your foot crosses the center line at each step. Both on striding and scissoring are easily identified by a professional. Contact your nearest grocery store or physiotherapist for a monthly motion analysis clinic.

If you cannot get a motion analysis, ask your partner or friend to record a video while you are driving. Then look at the record to see if you see either on the steps or scissors. If you notice any of these two operating errors, you will need to adjust your motion to prevent ITBS or other related injuries.