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IT Band Pain - Stretching Exercises for IT Band Pain

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Updated April 28, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Standing IT Band Stretch
IT Band Stretch

IT Band Stretch

Photo (c) E. Quinn
IT (iliotibial) band pain is a common cause of knee pain along the outside (lateral) knee and the lower thigh. IT band pain can be caused by many reasons, including a tight or overused IT band, tight or weak muscles, and both chronic and acute injuries. This stretching program may help reduce IT band pain.

How to Do the Standing IT Band Stretch

There are many different ways to stretch your IT band. Here is a simple stretch you can do while standing.
  • Stand with your right leg crossed in front of your left leg.
  • With your left arm extending overhead, reach to your right side as shown.
  • Put your right hand on your hip.
  • Push slightly on your right hip to move your hips to the left; you will feel a slight stretch along the left side of your torso.
  • Continue to stretch so you feel a complete stretch on the outer torso, hip, upper thigh and knee of your left leg.
  • Hold 20 to 30 seconds, then change sides.
  • For a deeper stretch, keep your feet farther apart, bend the knee of your forward foot and keep the back knee straight.

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