How to Treat IT Band Syndrome

How to Treat IT Band Syndrome

Based on your needs and severity, your best IT band syndrome treatment options will depend on your injuries. Overuse injuries such as the Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) are common among cyclists and runners. It is often caused by tightened ligaments or poor running form. Rest and stretching are two options for conservative treatment. A medical evaluation is required if the injury is more serious. 

Home Remedies

ITB can cause hip and knee pains that interfere with physical activity. ITB is an overuse condition, so rest is a good option. You can find more home remedies below to restore your knee to peak condition. 

Stretches and Exercises

IT band syndrome can be caused by weak connective tissue around your hip muscles. Strengthening exercises that target muscles such as the quadriceps, gluteus medius, and hamstrings can help prevent injury and support your joints. A stretching program can help improve your mobility and reduce joint stiffness. Do not start stretching and exercising until the pain outside your knees subsides. 


Massage for IT band pain can be used to loosen tension and soreness. The massage therapist will focus on your hip, leg, and lower back muscles. To help you move pain-free, they will remove any trigger points or muscle knots. 


IT band pain can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, reduce swelling and pain. These medications have anti-inflammatory properties that make them so effective. To avoid side effects, talk to your doctor before you take any new medicines. 


Cold therapy packs are used at home to treat lateral knee pain caused by IT band syndrome. The cold reduces swelling by decreasing blood flow to the affected area, limiting fluid that can be pushed into the tissues. The pain relief that cold therapy provides is also possible by numbing and interrupting the pain signal. A Cold therapy pack is used, or you could even submerge your knee in an ice water bath. To avoid skin damage, limit the time you icing to 20 minutes. 

Medical Treatment

Sometimes, IT band syndrome requires more than home remedies to treat the injury. If this happens, it's time for you to consult your doctor or physical therapist. Look below to see how they can help you get better faster. 

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can help with injuries such as IT band syndrome. Your first appointment with your physical therapist will involve a thorough examination of your injury. Then, they will devise a customized treatment plan. They will often recommend targeted exercises and stretching. They will also address any other risk factors, such as poor running form and weak hip muscles. 

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Therapeutic Ultrasound can be used to heat the muscles and break up scar tissue. It also increases blood flow to the affected area and can help speed up healing. Ultrasound treatments can be done at your doctor's or physical therapist's office. It is quick and painless, with few side effects. 


Corticosteroid injections are a powerful form of steroid injection administered directly to the area of injury. These injections can help reduce swelling and pain. Steroid injections can't be used for long and are not recommended for everyone. Talk to your doctor about whether this treatment is suitable. 


Your doctor may recommend IT Band Release Surgery if all other options have failed. It involves making a small incision at the kneecap to remove the IT band that rubs against your thighbone. This outpatient procedure can take up to six weeks for a full recovery. 


Prevention is the best medicine. Our tips will help you avoid ITB syndrome and keep your knee joints pain-free.

  • Run in quality shoes
  • Stretch regularly
  • Before you start your exercise program, warm up.
  • Any gait abnormalities should be corrected.
  • Exercise breaks are important, especially if you're in pain.
  • Use orthotics
  • Do strengthening exercises

Finding Safe IT Band Syndrome Treatment Options

IT band syndrome, which causes pain around the knee outside, is painful. This condition is more common among runners and athletes who bend their knees frequently. This condition can be treated at home using rest, ice, and medication. If your injury is severe, you may need to seek medical attention from a physical therapist or sports medicine doctor. Remember to take good care of your joints and see your doctor if you have any questions about treating your injury.

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