The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome and Effective Treatments

If you are a runner or someone who sits at a desk throughout the day, you can suffer from pain or tightness in the Iliotibial Band (IT Band). This post will help you understand how to effectively loosen the IT bands without foam rolling.

What is the IT Band?

The IT band is a piece of fascia attached to the internal portion of the pelvis, Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL), and Gluteus Maximus, moving along the outer thigh until it merges with the Tibia. The Tensor Fascia Latae and IT Band work together to prevent the knee from sliding to the side.

Fascia is similar to cling wrap, covering your entire body from head to toe. It collaborates with muscles to transmit force to different areas throughout the body.

IT bands are common issues that can create pain on the outside of the thigh or knees. Most commonly, the pain or tightness is not at the source. Usually, when a person experiences pain, the cause of it originates from another location.

Reasons For IT Band Tightness:

There are many reasons why someone feels tightness in their IT bands. The main reasons can include:

  • Lack of flexibility due to being immobile
  • Pain threat perception
  • Weak core and hip stability
  • Poor exercise or running technique
  • Limited hip and ankle mobility

Misconceptions about IT Band Release:

Most of the time when people complain of pain or discomfort, it is usually not the IT band that is the source of the pain. The hip, lower back, and ankle can affect how the lower body moves. These areas, among others, may cause the issue. It may feel tight due to the IT Band and/or TFL compensating and controlling the internal rotation of the femur and lower leg rather than allowing other muscles to properly control and stabilize the lower leg.

How are IT band issues diagnosed?

Your doctor will see if you have IT band syndrome considering your history and symptoms and will perform a physical exam. It may also involve a body assessment, such as performing certain exercises to check movement patterns. Your doctor may also assess the alignment of your pelvis and tightness of the IT bands. In some cases, they may prescribe an X-ray or MRI scan.

Treating IT band syndrome:

There are many ways to treat iliotibial band syndrome; some you can do at home while others may require the help of a healthcare provider. Some common treatments include:


Experts say that you should not exercise until the pain in your leg is gone, and the iliotibial band syndrome has healed. You can talk to your healthcare provider about the rest and activity you should get.

Massage and Myofascial Release:

Massage and Myofascial Release are manual therapy techniques aimed to address muscular tightness and tension. Massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissues using various techniques such as kneading, stroking, and deep pressure. Myofascial release IT-band is a technique that targets fascia. The therapist applies sustained pressure and gentle stretching to release fascial restrictions. Myofascial release aims to improve the elasticity and flexibility of the fascia. A qualified therapist can assist with this.

Manual therapy:

A physical therapist can teach you how to use a foam roller to massage your body.

Physical therapy:

A physical therapist can teach you stretches and strengthening exercises to help you relieve your knee and hip pain. These treatments may help elongate your iliotibial band, reducing tension. A physical therapist can demonstrate effective methods for warming up before and cooling down after exercise.

Posture training:

Your physical therapist will help you with the right posture training. It really matters how you hold your body when you do daily activities, and playing sports can influence your iliotibial band syndrome.

Steroid injections:

Corticosteroids could decrease the swelling in your iliotibial band.


Although surgery for iliotibial band syndrome is rare, your healthcare provider can recommend medication and physical therapy if therapy doesn’t work.

Will Iliotibial Band Syndrome disappear?

Your iliotibial band syndrome might heal after treatments such as physical therapy, rest, and medications. Your pain can increase if you don’t receive the treatment. Check with a healthcare provider for options.

How can 1st Choice Sports Rehab Health help you?

1st Choice Sports Rehab health provides a range of IT band syndrome treatments including myofascial release IT-band that will help you recover and avoid re-injury. Our experts will examine the best options so you can return to your favorite activities. Visit our website and get an evaluation.

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