IT band relief

Soothing the complaining IT band
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on October 27, 2015

If you run, cycle or squat, that outside-the-knee pain may be familiar.

It’s often an IT band thing.

The Iliotibial band is thick connective tissue running from knee to hip that supports knee flexion.

But, if you have a weak butt and hips, your pelvis will be destabilized and put too much pressure on the IT band.

For those with this painful syndrome, the common relief go-to is a foam roller right on the IT band.  Unfortunately, this is ineffective.

Yes, change up your workouts, and be sure you are adhering to proper form.  But instead of going straight for the IT band, massage and ball or foam roll the quads, glutes and TFL, the muscles that impact this tender tissue.

Take steps to strengthen your hip adductors and gluteus muscles along with stretching your quads and TFL with this seven-step flow.

ITB Relief Flow

  1. Switched-up forward fold. Instead of forward folding with your legs parallel, step your right foot to the outside of your left so the outer edges of your feet are side-by-side.  Hold for one minute before switching sides.

1 crossed forward fold

2.    Return to Mountain Pose and kick your right heel to your buttocks. The key is to have your thighs together and your hips level.  Hold for one minute and switch.

 

2 quad stretch

3.   Tree Pose. While standing in Mountain Pose, slide the sole of your right foot up the inside of your left leg.  Hold it at your inner calf or inner thigh.  Without collapsing into one hip, keep your pelvis level and hold. Switch sides.

3 Tree

4.   Extended hand-to-toe. While standing, place your left hand on your hip, bend your right knee and grab your toes with your right hand.  Begin to straighten your leg without losing the stability in your pelvis.  Hold, and switch sides.

4 hand to toe

5.  Warrior III. From Mountain Pose, step one foot forward.  Take your hands to prayer position, hinge forward from the hips and lift your back leg so you are in a capital T.  Square your hips to the floor.

5 warrior 3

Move to the floor.

  1. Low lunge with a twist. In a lunge with your right foot forward, drop your left knee to the floor.  Push your hips down while rotating the outside of your left hip so it faces the floor.  Hold before switching sides.

6 twisted low lunge

7.  Lie down on your right side. Stretch out your legs, stacking one on top of the other, your left hip directly over your right.  Flex your top foot and lift and lower your leg for twenty slow repetitions without rolling back.

7 side leg lifts

Special thanks to Anna Withrow of Yoga Bird, Fort Myers, for demonstrating the poses. 

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