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What is IT Band Syndrome – How to Fix Lateral Knee Pain

What is IT Band Syndrome?

IT band syndrome is gonna be pain around the outside of the knee due to compression of the fat pad that lies under the it band.

We used to think IT band syndrome was from injury to the IT band itself, but we have more recently realized that it’s actually due to compression of the neural structures underneath the IT band.

We find this lateral knee pain mostly in people like runners, hikers, or people are doing longer day (endurance type) activities. The issue that occurs at the IT band is just due to that repetitive compression underneath it band.

Usually this type of knee pain, isn’t actually due to shortness of it band, but rather due to problems with our gait pattern deficits in our single leg coordination and maybe weakness in our hips.

What Can You Do For IT Band Syndrome?

If it band syndrome is a compression syndrome, does it really make sense to add compression to the area?

Lots of people we see in the gym or in the clinic have been trying to foam roll their IT band to get rid of their knee pain.

In general, we’re not the biggest fan of foam rolling it’s only been shown to have small increases in flexibility that only last a short period of time.

But if foam rolling does help you feel better and is something that you like to do. I would suggest that you roll out the muscles around the IT band rather than rolling out the IT band itself.

What Exercise Can You Do to Improve IT Band Syndrome?

One of our favorite exercises to really work on glute activation and glute strength is a side plank clam shell. In a side plank position, I have a band around my knees, and all I’m doing is into a little side plank and I’m opening up this leg legged clam shell.

Repeating this for a few sets can be helpful!

At Peak Pursuit Performance and Rehab, we offer both in person physical therapy services in Salt Lake City, Utah and online remote consultations for those outside the city. If you are looking for help with your hip pain, knee pain, or injury, give us a call at (801) 215-9087.


Dr. Drake Griggs

Peak Pursuit Performance & Rehab

We Help Active Adults In The Salt Lake Area Overcome Injury And Reach Peak Performance, Avoid Unnecessary Time Off, All Without Medications, Injections, Or Surgery.