Iliotibial band syndrome, often called runners knee, is pain that occurs on the outside of the thigh and knee. Iliotibial band syndrome is a fairly common cause of knee pain. It is often due to overuse such as someone who runs every day. The pain that ITB syndrome causes is often an achy and dull pain, but can also be sharp in nature. ITB syndrome can come about from overuse in just a few days or it could be something that progresses over several weeks. The pain will often be felt while running and may continue to hurt even after one has stopped running.


People commonly think that iliotibial band syndrome is just due to having a tight tensor fasciae latae muscle. While this may be a contributing factor it is likely not the cause of pain. Iliotibial band syndrome probably causes knee pain from the ITB rubbing against the bones in the knee. This can cause wear and tear on both the bones and the ITB. Pain will then result from that wear. Running is the most likely activity to cause ITB syndrome, and this especially true if the runner has biomechanical abnormalities. Some of the more common biomechanical abnormalities include stepping over the midline of your body when running, and having flat feet.


The patient’s history of running and knee pain are important clues to indicate one has ITB syndrome. Although there are certainly other reasons for someone having knee pain while running. As such further investigation is required to make this diagnosis. When someone presents with ITB syndrome the lateral aspect of the knee is often very tender to palpation. In addition to that several orthopedic tests can be done at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation to help make the diagnosis. These orthopedic tests include Noble’s test and Obers test. The patients history in addition to these findings during the examination are often enough to make a fairly definitive diagnoses of iliotibial band syndrome.


Iliotibial band syndrome is treated effectively with rehabilitation in Fox Chapel. Soft tissue work, manipulation, stretches, and exercise are effective at helping to eliminate the patient’s pain. The exercises and stretches are especially vital as without them the condition is likely to reoccur. The condition needs to be corrected at the functional level in order to reduce the chance of reoccurrence.  If biomechanical abnormalities are present that cause iliotibial band syndrome, then they need to be addressed before the condition can be resolved. Biofeedback exercises are useful for changing the biomechanics that one uses. These exercises can be used to help correct a running pattern. Focusing in on running abnormalities like overstriding, or crossing over midline are two of the most effective methods treating iliotibial band syndrome. Correcting a runners flat foot can also help to reduce the occurrence of ITB syndrome. While it is hard to correct flat feet, sometimes exercises can be performed that can help with that condition. With that being said orthotics are much more likely to be effective for correcting the biomechanical abnormalities caused by flat feet.

At Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation we can work with you to determine if you have iliotibial band syndrome. If it is found that ITB syndrome is the cause of your pain then we will help you resolve the pain and correct the cause. If you think you have ITB syndrome please call 412-517-8124 now!


  • Souza, T. A. (2016). Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.