A chiropractor can help you relieve IT band pain with a variety of safe and effective treatments. I’m going to explain IT band pain and how a chiropractor can help you get back to exercising or simply doing normal daily activities without pain.
The IT band is often a source of pain to athletes who run or cycle a lot, but can also come on with other forms of exercise. You may even have IT band pain for no obvious reason at all. Discomfort is typically sharp or burning on the outside of the knee or lower thigh. This is the typical presentation I see in our office, but it can also be unique and different. Clinically, we refer to these symptoms as IT Band Syndrome or ITB Syndrome.
Exercises For IT Band Pain
Strengthening the hip abductor muscles and external hip rotator muscles might be the single most important thing you can do for IT band pain.
- Hip abductor muscles lift your leg to the side.
- External hip rotator muscles point your knee to the outside.
If you incorporate these strengthening exercises, the vast majority of people with ITB syndrome will experience complete symptom resolution in 6 weeks. Even before 6 weeks, you’ll probably get get significant relief as the area heals. This is great news if you were thinking you need stop running or cycling. My goal is always to keep patients active in their sport when possible, although sometimes we do need to reduce their volume or intensity.
Beow are three exercises to relieve IT band pain and strengthen the hip muscles. I suggest performing 3 sets of 10 repetitions as a superset each day. A superset is where you peform the exercises in a round, i.e. 10 of one, 10 or the second, and 10 of the third and then repeating that pattern.
Clam Shell Exercise
- Use a mini-band or loop band placed above your knees.
- Lay on your side, knees bent, and with your injured leg up.
- Keeping your hips on top of one another, point your upper knee towards the ceiling.
- With your injured side down, lay on your side in a straight line from head to toe.
- Push up off of your forearm and feet so your hips are off the floor.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Stand up straight with your feet hip distance apart.
- Bring one leg back and lower into a lunge position.
- Be sure to kee your front knee outward and behind your toe.
- Repeat on the other side.
Chiropractic Treatments for IT Band Pain
These hip strengthening exercises to relieve IT band syndrome are typically very effective. However, sometimes you need a chiropractor or other progessional to take you through a more progressive rehab plan. Manual therapy in addition to specific exercises can help speed up your recovery from IT band pain. Other treatments our Cary chiropractors offer that can relieve IT band syndrome include:
Chiropractic Adjustments: Joint manipulation and mobilization can provide pain relief and restore normal movement of the knee and hip. Poor joint movement is often times a cause or an effect of IT band pain.
Dry Needling for IT band syndrome: Dry needling can decrease your recovery time by relieving pain, releasing trigger points, relaxing tight muscles, and speeding soft tissue healing.
Read more about dry needling for lateral knee pain, often caused by IT band syndrome, in my blog here: Dry Needling for Lateral Knee Pain
If you’re not familiar with dry needling, you can see a video on dry needling for hip and low back muscles here: Dry Needling for Hip and Low Back
Graston Technique IASTM: Soft tissue mobilization to the gluteal muscles, TFL, and on the insertion of the iliotibial band can speed up the healing process.
IT Band Syndrome Prognosis
Combined with your rehab exercises, these a chiropractor for IT band pain can get you back to running, biking, or whatever you activity is faster. Some cases may take a little longer, but, 92% of patients with IT band syndrome report resolution at six month follow-up. These are great news and shows that treating IT band syndrome conservatively is almost always effective and the prognosis is good.
Dr. Brianna Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. She treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, Graston Technique, and rehab exercise strategies. She holds a PSP certification from the University of Pittsburgh and is the only one with this honor in the Raleigh, Cary, and Apex areas. She's also experienced in treating pregnant women, especially those who're exercising and want to stay moving during their pregnancy.