The IT band is a thick, fibrous band of tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh starting at the hip and stretching down to below the knee. When it becomes inflamed, it can produce a sharp pain that radiates on the outside of the knee. This pain can stop runners, both seasoned and novice, in their tracks.
Because the IT band connection begins at the gluteal muscles, it relies heavily on glute strength to stay aligned and balanced. When your glutes are weak, the band can become irritated and inadvertently pull your knee inward or outward, causing pain.
The best way to prevent and resolve minor IT band issues is to strengthen your hips and glutes. Below are some easy exercises you can do to prevent and treat IT band syndrome issues.
IT Band Exercises
Glute Activation. Start standing parallel to the wall and place on hand on the wall to steady yourself. Next, kick the leg farthest from the wall out and back while rotating your foot downwards. Complete this exercise 10 times.
Clamshell. Lie on your side with your legs bent at 90 degrees and knees stacked on top of each other. Your thighs should be about 45 degrees from your body. Open your legs slowly like a clamshell while keeping your hips still. Repeat this exercise 30 times on each side.
Hip Thrust. Start down on the mat laying face up. Bend your knees and place your feet firmly on the ground. Make sure your feet are in line with your knees. Next, activate your glutes to push your hips upwards and then slowly lower them back down. You can also make the exercise more difficult by extending one leg upward while lifting your hips. Repeat 25 times.
IT Band Syndrome Recovery
Icing the irritated area can help reduce inflammation and ease the pain. Ice the area for no longer than 15 minutes a few times a day.
Using recovery tools, like the foam roller, is also a great way to keep your IT band pain free and limber. Rolling related areas like the glutes, quads and hamstrings keeps your IT band and body balanced and in good alignment.
If you’ve been having issues with knee, hip or leg pain, contact Airrosti today. Our providers pinpoint the source of your pain and use a targeted treatment plan to eliminate the pain quickly and efficiently.
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