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IT band pain

IT band (iliotibial band) is a large sheath of fascia that runs from the hip to the knee. It facilitates in extending, abductions, and rotating the hip. Unfortunately the IT band can get inflamed and cause a lot of pain while doing activity. We want to give you some tools on how to treat your IT band at home and at Athlecare.

IT band pain is usually felt in the hip and/or on the outside of the knee. The pain usually flares up with activity and calms own when inactive. At time IT band pain can be confused with vastus lateralis pain. If you are unsure which is your issue you can book a free injury evaluation with us here. (under free services)

How to treat IT band pain from home:

1. Follow the POLICE principle

Protect – Avoid movements that make your pain worse.

Optimal Loading – Do exercises that reduce pain and improve hip motion that doesn’t make the IT band hurt worse.

Ice – You can ice for 30 minutes every 90 minutes safely if the ice you are using is at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Most gel ice packs are colder than 32 degree. If you are using a gel pack make sure to use a cloth between the cold pack and the skin and reduce the time from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.

Compression – Not very effective for IT bands.

Elevation – Not applicable

2. Improve ROM

Foam roll the IT band and quads (2 minutes on each area). Foam rolling should be uncomfortable but not painful, slow, and be done through the entire muscle body.

Stretch glutes, quads and hamstrings. Stretching should be done for 30- 60 seconds each direction.

3. Strengthen Glutes and quads. Lots of different ways to do this. We would be happy to guide you on how to do this most effectively.

How to treat IT band pain at Athlecare:

1. Release the IT band through scraping, cupping, positional release therapy (PRT), and myofascial releases.

The IT band is a band of fascia. At Athlecare we use different techniques to help release the this fascia. It can be very difficult to get the IT band to lengthen since it is fascia. From our experience the most effective treatments have been scraping the IT band, releasing it with myofascial release, and releasing the tensor fasciae latae with PRT (it connects to the IT band).

2. Reduce pain in the IT band

We have several modalities that can help reduce pain. Some examples are photobiomodulation, electrical stimulation, cupping, myofascial release, acupuncture, and contrast therapy.

3. Strengthen the hips

Our Auki training teaches how to improve stabilization and correct imbalances. IT band pain can be caused by compensation and imbalance. By training the hips, IT band may be lessened or eradicated. 

Hopefully this helps! Like always feel free to message us with any quesitons.

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