How to identify & solve IT Band Syndrome

IT band syndrome is painful. The pain can show up in one of several areas, making it difficult to diagnose.

I’m Robbie Stahl Harvard Educator and inventor of the Biomechanical Optimization System. Today, I’m going to teach you about IT band syndrome but more importantly what you can do about it and how you can relieve your body from the problems that are caused and producing pain related to IT Band syndrome.

So first, what is IT Band Syndrome? Well if you take a look at this runner and notice that her hips – right here in this position – notice that red colored muscle.

it band syndrome


That is called the TFL or the Tensor Fasciae Latae . Here’s what happens, the TFL attaches to that white sheath of tissue that runs down the entire leg from hip to knee. When the TFL gets tight or bound up for any reason – it pulls on that white sheath of tissue which connects to the knee. So there are three different ways that it can present itself:

  • Hip Pain
  • Leg Pain
  • Knee Pain

I had a client named Sue, who came to me for knee pain. She had suffered for months. No one was able to solve her knee pain problem. Her therapist kept working on her knee and trying to figure things out. Well, long story short, it was actually her TFL. The TFL gets tight, pulling on the IT band and as you can see, it is attached to the knee. So Sue had this knee pain, even though the pain or root cause of the pain was in her hip – at her TFL.

What can you do about it? Watch the video below to find out!

So, why does this happen? Why does the TFL get tight? What can you do about it? Well, it’s either caused by a mobility issue (elongation or flexibility of the muscle and connective tissues) or a stability cause – strength and stability of the supporting muscle groups. There’s a weakness somewhere in the body. In this case, the glute medius is weak.

The job of the left side of the glute medius is to hold the right side of the pelvis from falling and the right side glute medius holds the left side of the pelvis from falling. There are two major muscles that can pull on the leg and support the leg out to the side. If one muscle is weak the other one gets a lot more pressure.

The key is to strengthen the glute medius, so that the TFL doesn’t have so much pressure on it. As you can see in the video, there are exercises you can do to strengthen the glute medius. Secondly,it is important to work on the mobility of the TFL.

If the glute medius is doing its job, you may need to loosen the TFL. You can relieve the pressure by rolling the TFL on a foam roller. You can also roll the entire IB band from hip to knee for relief. This will relieve the stress and tension in the TFL and in the IT band. If you do these simple exercises and stretches, you will get awesome results.

If you have any questions about IT Band Syndrome, feel free to leave comments below! Remember, we’re here to help.



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