| IT Band Syndrome
IT (illiotibial) Band pain can occur either down by your knee or even up as far as your hip. A loss in hip strength and stability can, as we start to fatigue during our runs, cause one hip to drop below parallel. This in turn causes the knee on the opposite leg to collapse inward, straining the IT Band as it tries to stabilize the knee. The outer quad (vastus lateralis) gets adhered to the IT Band adding to the discomfort in the area by limiting how much the IT band can move.
Our approach here will be to work on all three facets. Build hip strength and flexibility with the Couch Stretch and Pigeon poses, massage the glutes east-to-west to eliminate glute/IT band adherence and north-to-south to loosen up both the glutes and the IT band itself.
IT Band Syndrome is just one cause of Runner’s Knee. You can check out our two part video series on Runner’s Knee at Part 1 and Part 2.
Prescription: 2-3 minutes each side. Best done after a workout or during a dedicated mobility session.
Execution: You know the drill! Dig in. Search all around the front of your thigh for tender spots. To make extra special, pin down sensitive area and flex/extend the knee. Also, don’t forget to roll “east to west” across the muscles as well!
Massaging your quads can be a big project, but always worth doing! Runners typically use their quads a TON, so they need a lot of love.
Prescription: 2-3 minutes each side. Can be done before or after workout.
Execution: Begin by placing knee in the corner of the box/wall. Next, drive hips forward by squeezing glutes (you may already feel it!). To increase stretch, bring your foot up to floor into a lunge position. And finally, continue to squeeze glutes and lift hands off ground and drive chest back towards box/wall.
This is one of our absolute favorite stretches for tight quads, hip flexors, and early stages of knee pain. The Couch Stretch can also be done in the corner of the wall.
Prescription: 2-3 minutes per booty
I prefer to use a softball sized massage tool for this over a LAX ball, but both will work! Sitting on our butts all day from work and leisure leaves the tissues not so happy. You’ll be surprised at how amazing this feels!
Prescription: 2 minutes each side.
An absolute MUST exercise. This is also a wonderful add-on at the end of the day!
This is an important stretch to open up your hips and your stride. Do on a bed, couch, bench, etc!
While we’ve worked with numerous licensed physical therapists to create content, we are not doctors, nor do we claim to be doctors. These exercises are ones we’ve used on ourselves and our clients throughout the years and have selected our favorite, most effective tools to get the job done! If you’re concerned with any exercises, please reach out to your local physical therapist for further guidance!