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April 04, 2018 2 min read

I have been asked many questions with regard to the IT band so I am sharing some information with regard to the problems that if this band is too tight can cause.

The first image shows the muscles of the inner thigh, the adductor group. In a previous post I explained that if this muscle group is too tight, too weak or in spasm it can cause back pain and pain on the inside of your knee. As if that wasn't bad enough, another consequence is that if this muscle group is pulling too hard then the opposing muscles are continually fired and working too hard which could be why your IT (iliotibial band - 2nd and 3rd image) becomes too tight causing pain on the outside of your knee joint.

What is the IT band?. Firstly, it’s imperative to note the IT band is not a muscle.

Multiple muscles insert into the IT band. So rather than the IT band being a muscle itself, it is a band made of other muscles.

The two big muscles comprising the IT band are the Gluteus Maximus (GM) and Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL). The Gluteus Maximus inserts into the band from the back of the hip and the Tensor Fascia Latae from the front. The insertion point (where it finishes) of the IT band is at the knee joint with the Gluteus Maximus connection inserting at Peroneus Longus and the Tensor Fascia Latae connecting to Tibialis Anterior.

What I am trying to say here is that the most common cause of knee pain is an imbalance between all of these muscles acting on the IT band and not the IT band itself.