Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Periodically I will have patients who come in to the office with hip or knee pain that have not responded to typical medical care. X-rays or MRI’s do not show any degeneration of the joint or the cause of pain. Upon examination, it is determined that the pain is not coming from the joint, but instead it is originating in the iliotibial band (ITB).

The iliotibial band is a thickened portion of the tensor fascia latae (TFL) along its lateral aspect. The TFL attaches on the top of the pelvis and runs down the side of your leg to the knee. Pain is caused either from aggravation of the greater trochanteric bursa (for hip pain) or from rubbing on the outside of the knee joint (for knee pain).

Typically we see ITBS in patients who have increased their mileage in running, began using more stairs or being in a hilly area and in patients who are doing a lot of bike riding or spinning classes. The pain will increase with motion, either bending or straightening the leg out. Tenderness will be located along the outside of the thigh with the area above the knee usually the most tender.

The best treatment for ITBS is rest, ice, NASID’s, ultrasound, sports massage and rolling out the muscle with either a foam roller or rolling stick. The patient should also have their low back / pelvis, knee and ankle joints examined for alignment issues. Typically on patients with long standing ITBS the gait of the person has changed and the affected joints will need to be adjusted by a qualified chiropractor. After the problem has been addressed, the patient needs to keep the hip muscles stretched, strengthen the muscles on the outside of the hip and modify their training as to prevent a reoccurrence of the initial problem.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

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