Updated: Jan 2, 2020
The illiotibial band (ITB) is made up of dense fibrous connective tissue and it runs from the outer hip to the outer knee. The ITB can get inflamed and irritated after walking, running, or hiking, which is called illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS). There can be stabbing pain along the outside of the knee, pain and tightness on the outside of the hip, and continuous pain following repetitive activity, such as walking, climbing, or descending stairs. The exercises listed below can be used to decrease inflammation and strengthen the ITB to prevent reoccurrence of pain.
Standing straight, cross your right leg over the left leg, and bend down towards your right side. A stretch should be felt on the left ITB. Hold this position for 20 seconds and repeat 5 times. Then do this stretch on the opposite leg.
ITB stretch on foam roller
Lay down on the side you want to stretch, and place the foam roller above the knee horizontally. Bend your opposite knee by planting your foot on the ground. Use your upper body and bent leg to roll back and forth on tender spots on the foam roller. Do this for 5 minutes, or until you cannot tolerate anymore.
Lay down on your right side, with knees bent and ankles touching. Position your ankles in line with your butt. Lift your top knee up to the ceiling, while making sure that you do not roll your hips backwards. Bring your right knee back down to your left knee. Do 2 sets of 10 reps on each side.
Side leg raises
Lay down on your right side, with your bottom knee bent and top leg straight. Keep the leg in neutral, making sure that it does not come forward or backward. Lift your leg straight up, hold for 5 seconds while squeezing your right glute muscle, and then gently lower your leg down. Repeat 15 times on both sides.