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Iliotibial Tract Syndrome (Knee) treatment guide


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Guide Overview

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.


Iliotibial Tract Syndrome, or ‘runners knee’ as it’s sometimes known is a chronic condition, which means that it often develops over a long period.

Although commonly associated with runners, Iliotibial Tract Syndrome can occur in both men and women who don’t actively participate in sports.

Causes (Aetiology)

It occurs when pressure or friction between the outer knee joint and a long piece of connective tissue called the iliotibial band causes it to become irritated, painful, and sore with repetitive movement.

Signs and symptoms

Iliotibial Tract Syndrome often follows exercise or activities like walking and running. It tends to feel better with rest and a little pain relief but without effective rehabilitation, it always comes back when attempting to return to normal activity, or exercise.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain which is worse after exercise, walking or climbing stairs

  • Tenderness when the outside of the knee is touched or pressed

  • Radiating pain into the knee joint and surrounding area

  • Difficulty or discomfort when walking or bending the knee

Acute phase management

Most people fail in their treatment of Iliotibial Tract Syndrome because they are unable to identify the cause of their pain. Once the source has been identified, effective steps can be taken to manage the symptoms.

Our treatment guide will help you identify what’s causing your pain and create the right conditions to begin effective rehabilitation.

Post-acute phase management

Post-acute phase rehabilitation involves the staged introduction of isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle stretches, scar tissue removal and proprioceptive exercises to strengthen the ligaments and connective tissues.

Condition-specific exercises will help you achieve a full, pain-free range of movement to stop the symptoms coming back.


Iliotibial tract syndrome responds well to self-treatment and conservative care; although recovery times are dependent on the severity of the condition.

Our treatment guide provides comprehensive tips and advice to achieve a full recovery in the shortest possible time.


If you follow the treatment guide correctly and are diligent with the rehabilitation programme complications are unlikely.

Without correct rehabilitation, there may be ongoing pain and damage to the iliotibial tendon.

Periodic stretching and joint mobilisation to reduce friction forces and inflammation of the iliotibial band are some of the techniques contained in our clinically proven treatment guide to help prevent reoccurrence.

Start today and fast track your recovery!

Our guides contain all the latest clinical advice for musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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Iliotibial Tract Syndrome (Knee) treatment guide

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