What is iliotibial band syndrome and what are its symptoms

Usually athletes and sportsmen experience aching or severe pain on the exterior of their knee or buttock. In most situations, these pains are signs of iliotibial band syndrome. This disease is mostly affected by activities that our knees bend frequently such as running, walking, cycling, and etc.
In fact our iliotibial band is a hamstring (tendon) which may erode against our knee or hip bones. In this condition physical therapy, taking medications or surgery is required. If you are coping with this syndrome, you should make an appointment with a foot surgeon in Dubai.

What is iliotibial band syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome happens when a tendon that is called the iliotibial band grows stimulated or inflammation from eroding against our knee or hip bones. This tendon is located on the exterior of our leg, and it comes down to the top of our pelvic (hip) bone to our knee. When this tendon becomes tight, It will erode against our bones. As a matter of fact, a lot of factors caused the iliotibial band to tighten.

Tendons are easily bent, Elasticity, and penicillate tissues in which conjoin our muscles to our bones. Thus when we tighten a muscle, our tendon drags on the bone and that causes your bone to move.

When patients experience this syndrome in their both legs, it’s known as bilateral iliotibial band syndrome. It’s better to see an ankle surgeon in Dubai, if you feel extreme pain in your hip or knees.

Cause of iliotibial band syndrome

probable causes of iliotibial band syndrome are:


  • Immoderate foot forward rotation: In a natural manner, the feet twist outward. That pulls the iliotibial band and makes it get close to the bones.
  • Gluteus abductor defect: Abduction of the (gluteus) hip occurs when the hip gets away from the body. A wasted capability to spin the hip can lead the iliotibial band to stiff.
  • Intrinsic tibial kink: Intrinsic tibial kink happens when the shinbone is turned inward the body. This drags the iliotibial band closer to the bones.
  • Forerun iliotibial band stiffness: there is a chance that you were born with a stiffer iliotibial band.

The main reason that may cause stiffness of iliotibial band include:

  • Fast cooling down after working out
  • Shortage of relaxing and rest
  • Not sufficient spreading out before working out
  • Pushing too hard while exercising
  • Running on a rough or curved ground
  • Running slope
  • Fast warming up before working out
  • Wearing old shoes

Note: it’s essential for most people, especially athletes, to visit a heel surgeon in Dubai in order to check their general foot health.


What are the symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome?


The most common symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome are:


  • Feeling pain in the hip: the iliotibial band frequently erodes against the bigger trochanteric in the hip. As a matter of fact the bigger trochanteric is located where the bone broadens around the top of the thigh bone. The attrition causes swelling in the tendon and feeling ache in the hip. Even a sharp cracking sound may be heard.
  • Sensation of knocking: feel of snapping, knocking or clicking may exist on the exterior part of the knee.
  • Feeling pain in the knee: the longside epicondyle is placed on the exterior part of the knee close to the lowest point of the thigh bone, where the bone broadens. So when the iliotibial band frequently erodes against the lateral epicondyle the friction happens. This friction leads to swelling in the tendon and making pain in the knee.
  • Feeling heat and redness: The exterior part of the knee may look stained, faded and being warm and sensitive to the touch.


In general people who are coping with this syndrome, define the primary pain as twinge and burning. So after a while the syndrome gets worse, then the pain grows progressively. In other words, at the beginning, the ache starts after exercising. Then gradually you feel the pain during the whole time of exercising and, ultimately, you feel pain even while resting.

Diagnose of iliotibial band syndrome


At first the specialist doctor will check your history of training and symptoms. Then he/she is going to do a physical examination. Eventually at the last step he/she checks the next symptoms of ITBS:


  • Checking the abrasive noise or a grating feeling while moving your knee or hip
  • Feeling ache all over the greater trochanter and lateral epicondyle
  • Checking the amount of pain during long exercise and going downhill

In further the appropriate diagnosis of ITBS will be needed imaging tests such as: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound.

What is the treatment for iliotibial band syndrome


Some helpful treatments for iliotibial band syndrome include:


  • Getting rest: According to experts, getting rest is one of the most beneficial approaches to treat this syndrome. It means that you shouldn’t work with or put pressure on your injured leg until the iliotibial band syndrome gets healed.
  • Taking pain medicine: taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication is effective to reduce pain and heal the syndrome.
  • Doing physical therapy: taking advice from a physical therapist can help you to learn how to massage your leg.
  • Position of body: The posture of the body during doing your routines or playing sports can affect your iliotibial band syndrome.
  • Injections of steroid: Injection of steroidal drugs can decrease the inflammation in the iliotibial band.
  • Performing surgery: However surgery is rare, if taking medications and other treatments don’t work, performing surgery is necessary.


Note: This syndrome may be cured after mentioned treatments. But if you ignore it, pain will be enhanced.


In sum, although Iliotibial band syndrome usually occurs among the athlete and brings ache to the outside part of their knee, everybody can get it.
Using inappropriate sport equipment enhances the risk of suffering from this syndrome. Most of the time, it’s essential to use pain medications, putting ice, strengthening training, and restricting the activity for a while.

The following recommendation can help you to prevent this syndrome:


  • Performing correctly stretching, warming up, and cooling down
  • Running with short steps
  • Not running on the slope surfaces
  • Substitute your shoes after a certain interval