IT Band Pain: Understanding the Causes and Treatment Options 

IT Band Pain: Causes and Treatment Options

If you're a runner, you've likely heard of IT band pain. The IT band, or iliotibial band, is a thick, dense tissue that runs from your hip down to the outside of your knee. It provides stability to the hip and knee joints, but when it becomes tight or irritated, it can cause pain and discomfort. In this blog post, we'll discuss the causes of IT band pain and the best treatment options.

Causes of IT Band Pain

One of the most common causes of IT band pain is overuse. Runners, in particular, are prone to this type of injury due to the repetitive motion of running. Other factors that can contribute to IT band pain include:

Weak hip muscles: If the muscles in your hips are weak, it can cause the IT band to become tight. Strengthening exercises can help alleviate this issue.

Poor biomechanics: If your running form is off, it can put extra strain on your IT band. This is often caused by overpronation, or excessive inward rolling of the foot.

Tight muscles: Tightness in the muscles surrounding the IT band, such as the glutes and quads, can cause the IT band to become tight as well.

Treatment Options for IT Band Pain

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a great way to relieve tension in the IT band and surrounding muscles. By applying pressure to the affected area, you can help break up any adhesions and promote better muscle function. However, it's important to note that foam rolling alone may not be enough to fully alleviate IT band pain.

Strength Training

As mentioned earlier, weak hip muscles can contribute to IT band pain. Strengthening exercises, such as hip bridges, clamshells, and side leg raises, can help address this issue. Many times people go through these exercises but do not reap the benefits due to poor neuromuscular connection and recruitment. This is why it is so important to work with a physical therapist to ensure proper form and muscle activation. 


While stretching alone may not fully alleviate IT band pain, it can still be beneficial. Stretching the muscles surrounding the IT band, such as the glutes and quads, can help promote better muscle function and reduce tension in the area.

Seeking help from an expert

It is important to discover where your pain is coming from and to have your movement patterns assessed. Our experts in musculoskeletal problems will assess you from head to toe, find out if in fact it is your IT Band, and find the root of your problem. Come schedule a total body diagnostic today and begin working on a solution to your pain, instead of just hoping it will go away. 

Final Thoughts

IT band pain can be a frustrating and painful condition, but it's important to address it early on to prevent further injury. By incorporating foam rolling, strength training, and stretching into your routine, you can promote better muscle function and alleviate tension in the IT band. If you're experiencing IT band pain, be sure to consult with be sure to consult with one of our specialists  for proper diagnosis and treatment.