The iliotibial band is a strong fibrous band of tissue running along the outside of the thigh the entire length of the upper leg from the pelvic bone (ilium) to the shin bone (tibia). Iliotibial band friction syndrome is a condition caused by the rubbing of this band against the bony prominence it passes over on the outside of the knee joint. ITB friction syndrome is a repetitive strain injury which occurs commonly in runners and cyclists. The friction caused by the repetitive flicking of the ITB across the bony prominence on the outer surface of the knee joint as the knee bends and straightens eventually causes symptoms to develop.
Classically sufferers of ITBFS will experience pain on the outside of their knee while running or exercising generally. The pain usually starts as a dull ache while exercising which stops on ceasing to exercise but if untreated can become more intense and can continue even after exercise stops.
Iliotibial band friction treatment does not go away on its own and must be treated. It should not be ignored. Treatment will consist of a period of rest, soft tissue therapy such as massage, stretching and strengthening exercises. Full recovery should be expected with most cases within a couple of weeks.