Iliotibial Band Syndrome: Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Iliotibial band stretch

Picture of iliotibial band stretch exercise
slide 1 of 3
slide 1 of 3, Iliotibial band stretch,
  1. Lean sideways against a wall. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair or counter.
  2. Stand on the leg with the affected hip, with that leg close to the wall. Then cross your other leg in front of it.
  3. Let your affected hip drop out to the side of your body and against the wall. Then lean away from your affected hip until you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Piriformis stretch

Photo of piriformis stretch while lying down
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slide 2 of 3, Piriformis stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Lift your affected leg and bend your knee. With your opposite hand, reach across your body, and then gently pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder.
  3. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Hamstring wall stretch

Picture of hamstring wall stretch
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slide 3 of 3, Hamstring wall stretch,
  1. Lie on your back in a doorway, with your good leg through the open door.
  2. Slide your affected leg up the wall to straighten your knee. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
    • Do not arch your back.
    • Do not bend either knee.
    • Keep one heel touching the floor and the other heel touching the wall. Do not point your toes.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 1 minute to begin. Then try to lengthen the time you hold the stretch to as long as 6 minutes.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

If you do not have a place to do this exercise in a doorway, there is another way to do it:

  1. Lie on your back, and bend the knee of your affected leg.
  2. Loop a towel under the ball and toes of that foot, and hold the ends of the towel in your hands.
  3. Straighten your knee, and slowly pull back on the towel. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Or even better, hold the stretch for 1 minute if you can.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

Enter P252 in the search box to learn more about "Iliotibial Band Syndrome: Exercises."

Current as of: May 23, 2016