7 Exercises to Treat Illiotibial Band Syndrome

(Last Updated On: November 24, 2016)

The Illiotibial band is a thick piece of connective tissue that runs parallel to the femur from the hip to the knee. It attaches along the gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae on the side of the hip and connects on the lateral side of the tibia. One of its major functions is to stabilize the knee while running.

Test to Diagnose Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Test  Position: Supine.
Performing the Test:

The affected limb’s hip and knee are passively flexed to 90 degrees. The examiner applies pressure with the thumb over the IT Band proximal to the lateral femoral condyle. The patient then actively extends the hip and knee. Pain produced over the distal IT band, where the pressure is being applied, before 30 degrees short of knee extension is a positive test. Pain produced at less than 30 degrees of knee flexion is not a positive test.


  • Icing the side of the knee
  • Stretching the IT band from the hip
  • Foam rolling the IT band
  • Complete rest

Exercises to Treat IT Band Syndrome

  1. Side Leg Raise 

Position: Lie on your right side with both legs straight.


Slowly raise your left leg about 45 degrees, then lower. Repeat on both sides. To make this move more challenging, use an exercise band around your ankles to increase resistance.
Reps: 20–30 on each side


  1. Clam Shell

Position: Lie on your right side with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle to your torso.


Keeping your feet together, use your glutes to slowly open and close your legs like a clamshell. Keep the motion controlled, and don’t allow your pelvis to rock throughout the movement. Use an exercise band just above your knees to increase resistance.


Reps: 20–30 on each side

  1. HipThrust 

Position: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent and your feet on the floor.


Pushing your heels into the ground, use your glutes to raise your pelvis up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Lower slowly, then repeat. For a more advanced version, raise one leg into the air and perform the same exercise with each leg individually.


Reps: 20–30 on each side

  1. Side Hip Bridge

Position:  Lie on your side with your feet elevated 1–2 feet off the ground on a stable surface.


Lift your torso using your hip muscles while keeping your spine stable, then lower slowly.

Reps: 10–30 on each side


  1. Side Shuffle 

Position: Stand with your legs about hip-width apart with an exercise band around your ankles.


Take 10 steps to the right, then 10 back to the left. This is one set. The exercise band should remain tight enough to provide resistance throughout the entire movement.

Reps:3–5 sets


  1. Pistol Squat

Position:  Stand on your right leg with your left knee raised out in front of you.


Slowly lower yourself, balancing on your right leg and allowing your left leg to straighten out in front of you. Try to lower yourself until your quad is just about parallel with the floor, then slowly come back up.


Reps: 5–15 per leg

  1. Hip Hike

Position: Stand on your single (right) foot.


Start with your pelvis in a neutral position, and then drop the other (left) side so it is several inches below the right side of your pelvic bone. Use your right hip muscle to lift your left side back to its neutral position.

Reps: 10–30 on each side


Want to know more about Illiotibial Band Syndrome and treatement? Download Portea’s Mobile app and chat with a doctor for free. You can also book physiotherapy sessions via our app or through the website; visit: Physiotherapy at Home



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