The Illiotibial Band (ITB) is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of your leg from your pelvis to your knee. Some of the buttock and hip muscles attach to it and the ITB co-ordinates how these muscles work and stabilizes the knee –
Tightness of the ITB can make subtle changes to the way the knee moves resulting in knee pain. It can lead to patella maltracking, where the kneecap doesn’t glide properly, which is common in conditions such as Runners Knee and Chondromalacia Patella. It can also irritate the bursa, small fluid filled sacs that provide cushioning between the Illiotibial Band and the bones underneath, causing inflammation and pain.
How to treat it: Stretch, Strengthen and use a Foam Roller lying on your side as pictured below and Ice.
1. Lay on your side with the knees together and bent with the feet in line with your spine. Keep the feet together as you lift the top knee up as far as comfortable. Ensure you keep your back still and do not rotate backwards to increase the range. It may only be a small movement initially but this will improve as your strength increases. Start with 2 sets of 10 if you can , and gradually increase to 3 sets of 15-20.
2. Use a resistance band wrapped around the ankle. Pull the leg out to the side, keeping the knee straight. Slowly return to the start position and repeat. Start with 2 sets of 10 and gradually increase to 3 sets of 15-20. Make sure the illiotibial band is stretched after performing this exercises.