The Iliotibial Band or ITB is not a muscle but a lateral thickening of the connective tissue (fascia lata) surrounding the thigh. It runs down the side of the thigh from the top of the hip bone to the side of the knee. The ITB functions to stabilize the knee during walking and running.
The ITB can be a source of knee pain, especially in runners. ITB Contracture, a shortening of the band, and ITB Friction Syndrome, inflammation where the ITB crosses the knee joint, are both common problems associated with the iliotibial band. Causes of these conditions vary, but are mostly associated with overuse in activities such as running, cycling, horseback riding, long-distance driving etc., postural dysfunctions and poor stretching habits.
Visit the Library for more ways to stretch the ITB.
Jocelyn M. Van Ryn is a Registered Massage Therapist in Peterborough, Ontario and has owned and operated Peterborough Massage Therapy Clinic since 2012.