IT Band Relief

Many of our athletic activities, such as skiing, running, and cycling, leave people with extremely tight and sensitive IT bands.  In my practice I have noted a remarkable difference in the IT bands of clients who roll them out regularly on a foam roller at home.  Active men, especially, seem to suffer from tight IT bands.  It is worth putting some time into releasing these taut bands of dense collagen-rich muscle fiber, as they attach to region of the hip joint, and if left tight for the long term, can pull the hips out of proper alignment, causing uneven wear and tear on the hip joint. Use a foam roller and lie sideways upon it on the floor, allowing it to make contact with your IT band between knee and hip on your lower leg... this can be very painful to start; the other (upper) leg should be bent, with its foot on the floor, used as a weight bearing device to alleviate some of the pressure of your lower leg's IT band on the roller.  Start with just a small percentage of your total weight. Balance your lower IT band on the roller, carefully using your arms and upper bent leg to stabilize and support you, while you gently roll your IT band upon the foam roller, from above the lateral edge of the knee, up the lateral thigh to the hip. I have heard that using a rolling pin, without bearing weight, is a gentler way to start out for the first few times. Properly loosening muscles associated with the hip joint will help avoid hip surgery down the line. (Note: The IT band is just one of many that can pull the hips out of alignment)