Iliotibial Band Syndrome Exercises

You may do all of these exercises right away.

  • Iliotibial band stretch, standing: Cross your uninjured leg in front of the other leg and bend down and reach toward the inside of your back foot. Do not bend your knees. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times.
  • Iliotibial band stretch, side-leaning: Stand sideways near a wall with your injured side closest to the wall. Place a hand on the wall for support. Cross the leg farther from the wall over the other leg. Keep the foot closest to the wall flat on the floor. Lean your hips into the wall. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times
  • Standing calf stretch: Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Keep your injured leg back with your heel on the floor. Keep the other leg forward with the knee bent. Turn your back foot slightly inward (as if you were pigeon-toed). Slowly lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times. Do this exercise several times each day.
  • Hamstring stretch on wall: Lie on your back with your buttocks close to a doorway. Stretch your uninjured leg straight out in front of you on the floor through the doorway. Raise your injured leg and rest it against the wall next to the door frame. Keep your leg as straight as possible. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Quadriceps stretch: Stand an arm's length away from the wall with your injured side farthest from the wall. Facing straight ahead, brace yourself by keeping one hand against the wall. With your other hand, grasp the ankle on your injured side and pull your heel toward your buttocks. Don't arch or twist your back. Keep your knees together. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Side-lying leg lift: Lie on your uninjured side. Tighten the front thigh muscles on your injured leg and lift that leg 8 to 10 inches away from the other leg. Keep the leg straight and lower it slowly. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Knee stabilization: Wrap a piece of elastic tubing around the ankle of your uninjured leg. Tie a knot in the other end of the tubing and close it in a door at about ankle height.
  • Stand facing the door on the leg without tubing and bend your knee slightly, keeping your thigh muscles tight. Stay in this position while you move the leg with the tubing straight back behind you. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Turn 90 degrees so the leg without tubing is closest to the door. Move the leg with tubing away from your body. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Turn 90 degrees again so your back is to the door. Move the leg with tubing straight out in front of you. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Turn your body 90 degrees again so the leg with tubing is closest to the door. Move the leg with tubing across your body. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Hold onto a chair if you need help balancing. This exercise can be made more challenging by standing on a firm pillow or foam mat while you move the leg with tubing.

  • Iliotibial band stretch, side-bending: Cross one leg in front of the other leg and lean in the opposite direction from the front leg. Reach the arm on the side of the back leg over your head while you do this. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times and then switch legs and repeat the exercise.
  • Clam exercise: Lie on your uninjured side with your hips and knees bent and feet together. Slowly raise your top leg toward the ceiling while keeping your heels touching each other. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Written by Tammy White, MS, PT, and Phyllis Clapis, PT, DHSc, OCS, for RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
© 2012 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

References