ITB Syndrome - Runners knee pain

Seaforth PhysioWith the increase in running over the last couple of months, we have seen more and more patients reporting lateral knee pain when exercising. The ITB (Iliotibial band) is responsible for a lot of these issues. 


ITB syndrome is an overuse injury that is often seen in runners, long distance walkers and cyclists. Pain is reported on the outside of the knee just above the joint. 


What is the cause?

The Iliotibial band (ITB) is a fascial structure (connective tissue) that runs from the pelvis to the knee on the outside of the leg. Repeated bending of the knee, mixed with certain biomechanical and extrinsic factors, causes an irritation to the tissue under the ITB as it passes over the outside of the knee. 

Runners knee pain

Biomechanical issues can include: 

  • Weak gluteal muscles 

  • Muscle imbalance of the hips

  • Reduced hip range of motion 

  • Running technique - foot crosses the midline of your body 


Extrinsic factors can include:

  • Rapid increase in distance or speed

  • Increase in hill running 

  • Running on uneven surfaces 

  • Poorly fitted running shoes 

  • Poor cycle fit 


Exercise ideas to prevent lateral knee pain:

Focus on gluteal strength as these muscles are so important in maintaining good running form. Strong glutes will also reduce the load on the ITB and help to prevent pain to the knee. 

  • Side plank

  • Band walks 

Follow us on social media for the above exercise videos 



If this sounds like something you may be struggling with, one of our physios would love to help.


Previously Known as Appleby Physiotherapy 



1-3 Burnt Street
NSW 2092
(02) 9907 9667

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