Iliotibial Band Syndrome – What Are The Risks?

Iliotibial Band Syndrome – What Are The Risks?

Runners are often not strangers to pain that takes place in the legs, knees, or feet. However, you must always be able to tell the difference between slight discomfort and pain that signifies a larger issue is at work. If you have begun to notice increased amounts of pain around the outside of your knee take place, you could be dealing with iliotibial band syndrome. Luckily, the team here at New York Sports Medicine Institute is well-versed in treating this condition. To protect you against this condition, he’d like to share the common risk factors that trigger its development, and how it can be prevented.


The iliotibial band is made up of thick fibers that run down your leg. It runs from the outside of your hips to the top of your shin, passing through the knees and thighs on the way there. When this band becomes too tight, it will begin to swell and cause pain around the outside of your knee. This is known as Iliotibial, or IT band syndrome. Among the most common causes of this painful condition are:

  • Training on uneven surfaces.
  • Wearing worn-out sneakers.
  • Having bowed legs.
  • Knee arthritis.
  • Repetitive stress placed on the knee from running or walking.
  • Lack of stretching or implementation of a warm-up and cool-down routine.


As previously stated, pain on the outside of your knee is one of the symptoms associated with iliotibial band syndrome. However, it is not the only one. Being able to identify the symptoms of this condition will allow you to seek treatment swiftly, limiting the chances of any long-lasting effects. Other ones to be wary of include:

  • Burning or tenderness on the outside of your knee.
  • Feeling a clicking or popping on the outside of your knee when it bends.
  • Pain that radiates throughout your leg.
  • Redness around your knee.


When the symptoms that accompany Iliotibial band syndrome become present in your life, your first call should be to Dr. Roth at New York Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Roth will take the steps necessary to diagnose your condition and put a treatment plan into action. In minor cases of Iliotibial band syndrome, a mixture of resting and stretching will reduce the IT band’s swelling and return your knee’s functionality to normal levels. For moderate to severe cases, surgery is required to correct the issue. During this operation, Dr. Roth will lengthen the iliotibial band to release tension and reduce swelling. It is a safe procedure that carries a minimal risk of complications. Following your surgery, it can take up to four to eight weeks for your knee to make a full recovery. 


To prevent  iliotibial band syndrome from ever occurring, Dr. Roth would like to share a few preventative methods you can institute in your life. By performing the below, you’ll increase the chances of remaining active and pain-free:

  • Regularly loosen your IT band with foam rollers.
  • Make time to warm-up and cool-down before and after physical activity.
  • Always run on flat surfaces.
  • Shorten your running stride.             

New York Sports Medicine Institute  

At New York Sports Medicine Institute, our team specializes in providing athletes with the sports medicine they need. Iliotibial band syndrome can be a difficult condition to deal with on your own, which is why we encourage those who are suffering from it to request an appointment with us today. From the time of your injury to your last day of treatment, we promise our team will be there for you every step of the way.