Training Tip: How to deal with IT band Pain

Tips for Multi-Sport Athletes (Swimming, Cycling, Running, Triathlon, Duathlon)

The IT Band runs from your hip to your knee on the outside of your leg. IT Band pain is a common running & cycling injury.

* Please note you should see your doctor or a specialist if you are suffering from IT Band pain.

The myth of IT Band pain; Just roll it out and you will be good to go.

Options for treatment:
1) Physical Therapy
2) Massage or ART - Active Release Therapy
3) Chiropractic to fix mis-alignment

Here are 3 ways to manage and improve IT Band pain on your own:
1) Myofascia release (foam rolling) - Do not roll the actual IT Band. Roll the hips and legs.
2) Strengthen the hips & core muscles - Include cross training in your training plan.
3) Rest or modify your training plan to reduce stress on the IT Band while the inflammation goes down and the healing increases.

Strengthening the Hips & Core:
When first starting begin with stable exercises. The best piece of equipment to invest in is a mini band, resistance loop or thera-band tied in a circle. We want to strengthen external hip stabilizers, core and glutes. Great exercises: fire hydrants, clam shells, lateral leg raises, front planks, side planks and hip bridges. A good starting point is 3 sets of 10 repetitions several days a week.

After you have done them for several weeks you can switch to an unstable environment. Examples; squats on a bosu, side lunges, single leg exercises, single leg calf raises, lunge matrix, eccentric calf drops. You want to challenge your body to respond and maintain stability while only on one foot. Similar to running form.

More advanced training could incorporate plyometrics and explosive moves.

IT Band issues are not just from "tightness." We do want to loosen the area around it and the hips with foam rolling or massage (active release therapy.) It is also beneficial to rest and/or modify your training plan while you recover. For the long term success for your rehab and prevention of re-occurence focus on strengthening your hips and core.


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