Five Effective Exercises to Treat ITB Syndrome (ITBS)

Iliotibial Band Syndrome, commonly referred to as ITBS, is an injury which is caused by the inflammation of the facia in the knee. ITBS can occur when too much strain is put on the knee; this can often be done by overdoing activities such as running, jogging, cycling, rowing, weight-lifting and hiking. Symptoms of ITBS are swelling on the knee, or a slight stinging sensation above the knee.

There are a number of ways that you can sooth ITBS pain, such as by applying an ice pack onto the knee, by foam rolling the IT band and by elevating the leg to reduce inflammation. There are also several exercises and stretches which can help to speed up the healing process. The Foot and Leg Clinic reveal the top five exercises that will help to treat IT Band Syndrome.

leg liftsThe Leg Lift

Lie on your back and lift up your left left about ten inches off of the floor, hold for a few seconds, then gently lower it back down to the floor. Repeat the same motion with the right leg. This should be repeated around 20 for each leg.

clamshellClam Shell

Lie down on your right hand-side. Keep your feet and knees touching, and bring your knees up to roughly a 90 degree angle. Now gently keep the shape of the legs and keep the feet touching one another while you life one knee so that it is pointing upwards. Repeat this motion 20 times.


Stand with your feet hip width apart, and lift one foot off of the floor. Slowly bend your knee to go into a squat. Stop at the point when your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold for two seconds and slowly come up. Perform between 5 to 15 reps of this exercise.

hip openerHip Opener

Lay on your right-hand side. Put both of your feet onto three stacked cushions to elevate them. Lift up your torso off the ground. Keep the pelvis and spine straight, hold for two seconds and lower down gently. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times.

side shufflesSide Shuffles

Another exercise that involves squatting is the side shuffle. Simply stand with your feet hip wight apart, and bend your knees to go into a low squat. Holding this position take ten steps to the left-hand side, and then ten steps back to the spot that you started from. Then take another ten steps to the right hand-side. If you want a more advanced version of the exercise then tie a resistance band around your ankles and complete 3 to 5 sets.

The number of reps for each exercise are just a rough indication. Do not continue with any of the exercises if you feel sharp pain. If your injury persists, then it is advisable to seek professional medical help to treat the IT band injury. You may even need to go and see a physiotherapist, or combine exercises with other treatments.

By incorporating two or more of these exercises into your daily ITBS rehabilitation program, you will be sure to aid a speedy recovery.

If you are unsure if you have ITBS the best way to tell is to bend your knee at a 45-degree angle. If you have an IT band problem, you’ll feel pain on the outside of the knee.

If you fell you have ITBS or have foot, leg or back pain please contact The Foot and Leg Clinic