April 16, 2019
The IT band is made of an elastic connective tissue called
fascia. It attaches at the hip bone and to some of the gluteal muscles and runs
down the side of your leg where it attaches just below the knee.
The IT Band can often cause hip or knee pain, or both. It’s common in runners, and is one of the most common causes of lateral knee pain. To figure out if the IT band is the source of your discomfort, you can start by feeling your own IT band. You can see if it feels tighter on one side than the other, or if touching along the outside of your leg is painful. You can also do a stretch against a wall to see if that creates or increases your pain. To do the stretch, stand next to a wall with the affected side closest to the wall. Then bring the unaffected leg in front, and push the affected hip out towards the wall. If any of this creates or intensifies your symptoms, you may have IT band pain.
So how can we treat IT band pain? One way is through physical therapy including dry needling. Dry needling has been shown to create clinically relevant and persistent benefits for those with chronic hip and knee pain. For the IT band in particular, we often use several needles, starting at the hip joint, and then down the length of the IT band to relieve symptoms. Studies show that needling, along with other stretches and strengthening done in physical therapy, can improve pain and functional mobility for those with lateral hip pain.
Not sure if your IT band is what’s causing your discomfort? No problem! Contact our team here at Imagine Physical Therapy where we can determine if you have IT Band pain, or if there is some other issue that we can fix for you.