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Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) Part 2: Treatment Ideas

Updated: May 10, 2022

Written by: Dr. Lisa Bodratti, PT, DPT

Activity Modification

One of the main tenets to treating ITBS successfully is activity modification - this does not mean stopping ALL activity. We recommend that you stop the aggravating exercise or activity and focus on pain-free movement. Try to cross train or strengthen those glutes (see below)!

Some (Of The Most Appropriate) Exercises!

These exercises were shown through research to engage and strengthen the muscles you want to strengthen (GLUTES!), with less ITB effort in order to get you back to your activity quicker!

Double leg bridge: Place both feet on the ground with your knees bent and back flat. Lift your hips into the air by squeezing your glutes.

Pro tip: Do not focus on how high you can get your hips towards the ceiling - focus on keeping your core engaged and squeeze your gluteal (butt) muscles.

Single leg bridge: Start in the same position as the double leg bridge. Lift one knee into the air. Engage your core muscles and push through your heel on the ground to lift your hips into the air.

Pro tip: Make sure your pelvis stays level - pretend like there is a glass of water on your pelvis and you can’t let it spill.

Clamshell: Lay on your side with your hips bent to ~45degrees and knees 90 degrees. Engage your abdominals and slowly lift your top knee toward the ceiling. Keep your feet together.

Pro tip: Make sure you are feeling this exercise work where your back pocket would sit, NOT down your ITB. If you are having trouble, reset and make sure your hips are stacked toward the ceiling and core is tight. Add a resistance band around your knees if this is easy.

Side steps: Place a resistance band around your feet where your laces are. Slightly bend your knees, as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Bring your left foot out to the side, taking a step against the resistance band. Slowly bring your right foot toward the left, keeping a small amount of resistance in the band. Advance across your space.

Pro tip: Make sure your core stays engaged! You should really feel this one in the outsides of your hips/glutes.

Quadruped hip extension - straight leg: Begin on your elbows and knees, engage your abdominals and extend one leg behind you by squeezing your glutes and hamstring muscles.

Pro tip: Pretend like that same glass of water is now on your back - don’t let it spill!

Quadruped hip extension - bent knee: Begin in the same position as the last. Bend one knee and squeeze your glute to raise your leg into the air.

Pro tip: This exercise is meant to focus more on your gluteals than the last - make sure you are squeezing!

Try 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise, on each side if applicable.

This is not an all-inclusive list of exercises or ideas that will help - the best way to address your ITBS is to see a Physical Therapist who has worked with runners or others who have experienced ITBS. To schedule a free in-person or phone consultation with one of our Physical Therapists, simply click the link here:

Dr. Lisa Bodratti, PT, DPT

Clifton Park & Troy

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