IT Band Syndrome

IT band syndrome is a painful condition that most often affects long distance runner, skiers, cyclists and football players.

Symptoms can manifest as hip pain, knee pain or a combination of both. I worked with many runners who had symptoms. Most of whom had not sought any diagnosis or treatment at all. Often they kept running in spite of it. So is massage good for IT band syndrome?


Basically, it’s a strong, thick fibrous band of the fascia lata of the lateral thigh, beginning at the iliac crest, crossing over the knee, and extending to just below the knee on the outer side of the anterior tibia. Where the tendon passes the knee (lateral femoral condyle), there’s a bursa, a small, fluid-filled sac between the bone and the tendon, which cushions the parts and serves to reduce friction caused by movement.

It stabilises the knee, both in extension and partial flexion, and is used constantly during walking and running. When you lean forward with the knee slightly flexed, it is the main support of the knee against gravity. 

IT Band Symptoms

The main pain symptom is on the lateral knee, but pain may occur anywhere along the band from the hip to the knee, including pain on the back of the knee. Inflammation and swelling may be present. Pain intensity may be related to the position of the knee at any given time. Sufferers have frequently reported that the pain was worse when their feet were striking the ground and that full extension of the affected leg provided some relief. 

Is massage good for IT band syndrome

Each client or patient is unique, and although the pain from this syndrome may be located in the same place on many people, the response to it depends on the individual. I always recommend we see a client with symptoms for assessment and confirmation of the condition. Following on from the assessment a course of therapy is advised which can also provide important treatment to other areas of the lower body to assist in the recovery of the condition. Ultimately time and rest is also a key feature to recovery on an injury incurred through high exercise patterns.

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