The Foot in Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome


What is Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome?

Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a common cause of knee pain, particularly in runners. Irritation is caused in the lateral knee when the Ilio-tibial band connecting the hip and knee through the lateral thigh, rubs across the femoral condyle during weight acceptance in running gait. ITBS is considered an overuse injury, as it symptoms stem from repetitive trauma.


What is the Ilio-tibial band?

The Ilio-tibial band is a band of fascia which connects the hip, including muscles tensor fascia lata and gluteus maximus to the lateral knee, to assist with lateral stabilisation of the hip and knee.


What causes Ilio-tibial band syndrome?

ITBS is caused by altered biomechanics leading to increased friction over the femoral condyle in the lateral knee. Altered mechanics largely stem from a combination of muscle imbalances and/or weakness and poor joint position.


Common causes include:
• Poor biomechanics: inward rolling hips, knees and/or feet, bowed legs
• Weak muscles in the gluteals, hip rotators, quadriceps or core
• Poor arch control
• Worn out or unsuitable runners
• Sudden increase in running distance, intensity or terrain


What are the symptoms of ITBS:

– Pain in lateral knee
– Swelling in the lateral knee
– Pain that worsens with running or other repetitive activity
– Pain during early knee bend


Podiatry Treatment for ITBS:

There are a number of different treatment modalities that can be employed by a podiatrist when looking at this type of knee pain. These approaches include:

– Assessment of biomechanics
– Strengthening of lower limb muscles
– Footwear assessment, modification and prescription
– Normalise joint range of motion
– Improve proprioception
– Correct running technique
– Normalise foot posture through strengthening and orthotics where indicated
– Referral to North Road Physiotherapy for hip and knee strengthening



Leave a Reply