Video: Exercises to Strengthen and Stretches to Relieve IT Band Pain

Dr. Brandon Brym, PT, DPT takes us through some exercise techniques and important stretches that help alleviate pain in the IT Band area and help build the muscles surrounding it. Your IT Band is connective a band of tissue that runs from the top of the hip to past your knee, the muscles connected to … Continue reading “Video: Exercises to Strengthen and Stretches to Relieve IT Band Pain”

Dr. Brandon Brym, PT, DPT takes us through some exercise techniques and important stretches that help alleviate pain in the IT Band area and help build the muscles surrounding it.

Your IT Band is connective a band of tissue that runs from the top of the hip to past your knee, the muscles connected to this are the TFL ( Tensor Fasciae Latae) and the Gluteus Maximus.

Pain attributed to this area from tightness or weakness in your hips or alterations in your foot mechanics.

Stretching and strengthening your TFL muscle and Gluteus Maximus will reduce pain as these muscles connect the IT Band to the hip joint.

Exercise #1 for TFL -Half kneeling position, lung forward till you feel a nice stretch down your leg. For more of an intense stretch raise your opposite arm up and bend slight over to one side. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3x daily to help loosen up.

Exercise #2 for both TFL and Gluteus Max – Use foam roller to roll out the TFL and Gluteus Max. Roll out each for a few minutes, putting a little pressure to loosen the muscles up. 

Great to do pre-workout and post workout!

Exercise #3 – Single Leg Stance – a version of the Romanian deadlift. Doing one leg at a time, standing upright with knees slightly bent, slowly lift one leg back, hold for the stretch, then release and switch to the other side. This is not only a great stretch but can be used as an exercise with weights to strengthen your muscles around the IT band as well! 

 

Corrective Stretches for Injury Prevention

Stretching is an essential part of any exercise regimen, it will not only improve your endurance and balance, but will also decrease the risk for injury. If you are participating in any sporting event or physical activity, time should also be set aside for stretching. Two types of stretches are typically conducted: static stretching (stationary) … Continue reading “Corrective Stretches for Injury Prevention”

Stretching is an essential part of any exercise regimen, it will not only improve your endurance and balance, but will also decrease the risk for injury. If you are participating in any sporting event or physical activity, time should also be set aside for stretching. Two types of stretches are typically conducted: static stretching (stationary) or dynamic stretching (mobility). The timing of stretching is important as well as the specificity, in other words your stretching routine should be specific to the demands of your sport. Typically, dynamic stretches should be performed pre-activity and static stretching post-activity. 

 

Dynamic Stretching-

These types of stretches are great for getting your heart rate up, warming up your joints and muscles, and enhancing range of motion and power. Again, these stretches should be specific to the demands of the activity you are about to perform.

Some general movements for most activities can include:

  • Standing hip circles
  • Leg swings
  • Trunk rotations
  • Arm circles
  • Butt kicks
  • Karaoke stretching
  • Lunges

The idea with these stretches is to make sure your muscles are ready to perform, with that said it is best to work into deeper ranges of motions (not into pain) but not holding the position.  Warm-up should be around 15 minutes. 

Static Stretching- 

These types are stretching are best to perform after activities as they can help maintain flexibility, lower recovery time, and decrease soreness. The idea for these stretches is to hold the position for at least 30-45 seconds to allow time for the tissue to adapt to the new range. Static stretching takes consistency, in order to change the properties of the tissue the stretches must be performed on a consistent basis.

Some examples include:

  • Seated or standing toe reaches (hamstrings),
  • Lunge stretch (hip flexors)
  • Knees to chest (hamstrings, glutes, low back)
  • Butterfly (groin), doorway stretch (pectorals)
  • Runner’s stretch (gastric/soleus)
  • Flamingo (quadriceps).

Try 3 sets per stretch in order to get the most out of your stretching. Stretching should not be painful, but some discomfort is normal especially in more restricted areas. Remember to always listen to your body, perform all stretches as tolerated. 

Blog researched and written by: Dr. Brandon Brym, PT, DPT.

Do You Actually Know What and Where Your “IT Band” Is?

Are you experiencing “IT band” pain? What is the cause? The Iliotibial band (ITB) is a broad band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, it extends from our lateral hip down to the outside of your knee.  It is a passive stabilizer of the hip and lateral stabilizer for our … Continue reading “Do You Actually Know What and Where Your “IT Band” Is?”

Are you experiencing “IT band” pain? What is the cause?

The Iliotibial band (ITB) is a broad band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, it extends from our lateral hip down to the outside of your knee.  It is a passive stabilizer of the hip and lateral stabilizer for our knee. It is also the attachment point for a couple muscles in our hip. Due to faulty mechanics or overuse, the ITB can become stressed and lead to inflammation, irritation and pain. Typically, pain occurs at the knee or hip, but can occur anywhere along its path. An injury to the ITB can cause difficulty with daily activities or setbacks to training. 

Due to the complexity of the cause(s) of pain in the ITB, it is helpful to break down the most common causes into internal and external factors. There is typically more than one factor at play, so a thorough assessment is key to starting a successful recovery:

  • Internal FactorsPoor flexibility in the hip or thigh, weak gluteal musculature, poor running or lifting mechanics.
  • External FactorsImproper footwear, improper orthotics, change in training intensity, change in training surface, or sudden increase in activity level.

Other common conditions associated with ITB pain include:

  • Trochanteric Bursitis This is often the result of increased rubbing of the ITB over the bursa on the outside of our hip. Pain can travel the length of the ITB and even down into the lower leg/calf. Typically caused by overuse or from a traumatic fall landing on the outside of the hip. Rest, stretching, and activity modification are key initial interventions to relieving the symptoms.
  • ITB SyndromeThis is very common in runners. Weakness in the hips and lack of flexibility can lead to increased wearing and rubbing of the ITB over the bony prominences of the leg resulting in pain. Running and lifting mechanics are often poor as well and need to be addressed to prevent further ITB injury. 
  • Knee or Hip PainSometimes the pain can be general, diffuse areas of our hip/knee joints and can be hard to determine exactly where they originate. Typically, the result of overuse with the combination the internal/external factors above. 
  • Lumbar Spine RadiculopathyPain in the ITB could be coming from nerves in our low back, known as lumbar radiculopathy. This is often difficult to tell apart from the other conditions above, it can be accompanied by numbness/tingling or even burning pain.

A couple of useful injury prevention activities include: 

Stretching the muscles around the hips and knee, the ITB does not stretch but the muscle that attach to it do so focus on these areas. Also, listen to your body and gradually increase activity levels giving yourself time to recover and determine your tolerance to new activities. The use of a foam roller to address the areas of tightness can be a helpful adjunct to stretching. Physical therapy your Physical Therapist can perform a thorough examination and determine which factors are contributing to your pain and help develop a comprehensive, individualized exercise program to help you get back to your activities.

Blog researched and written by : Dr. Brandon Brym, PT, DPT.