The iliotibial band is a band of fibrous tissue that runs down the
outside of the thigh. It provides stability to the knee and hip and helps
prevent dislocation of those joints. The band may overdevelop, tighten, and rub
across the hipbone or the outer part of the knee. Each time the knee is bent or
the hip flexed, the band rubs against bone. This is particularly common in
runners, cyclists, and people who participate in other aerobic
Symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome include:
Pain on the outside of the knee or
Snapping hip pain as the iliotibial band snaps back and forth
over the point of the hip (greater trochanter).
Pain that generally
disappears as the band is stretched out and becomes more
Pain that improves with rest.
Iliotibial band syndrome is treated with rest, medicines to relieve
swelling and pain, and stretching exercises as instructed by a physical
therapist or sports medicine doctor. Steroid injections at the most tender spot
are sometimes helpful.
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