August 10, 2017

STOP FOAM ROLLING YOUR IT BAND! Today we're talking about lateral knee pain and some great ways to tackle it. 

A Quick Anatomy Lesson


The Illiotibial Tract is not a muscle, it’s actually comprised of dense fibrous connective tissue. It’s a tendon in the sense that it connects the the TFL (Tensor Fascia Latae) to the Tibia, but also a ligament because it also connects directly to the pelvis. The primary role of the TFL, and subsequently the IT Band is to help provide lateral knee stability during extension and partial flexion via abduction. We use it constantly for running and walking, particularly when one foot is off the ground. ITBS or IT Band Syndrome is a common issue among runners and cyclists brought on by dysfunction relating to hip musculature. It can also arise from an intense increases in activity, particularly when combining resistance training and cardiovascular training. Even though the pain symptoms are coming from the lateral thigh and knee, the origin of the problem is likely upstream. When experiencing this the common response for most trainees is to immediately attack it with a foam roller or traditional stretching. Unfortunately since the IT Band is not comprised of muscle tissue, these methods are completely useless and fail to yield any structural changes. The most likely scenario here is that a lack of strength in the gluteal complex, more specifically in the gluteus medius (our primary source of hip abduction), has forced the TFL to take on a more predominant role in producing external rotation for knee stability. There are many reasons for this, but the most common is that overactive hip flexors and adductors have led to lengthened and inhibited extensors and abductors.

TIGHT/OVERACTIVE:

  1. Hip Flexor Group
  2. Adductor Group
  3. Tensor Fascia Latae


WEAK/LENGTHENED:

  1. Gluteal Complex
  2. Hamstrings Group

Today's Video:

 

Today's Exercises:

  1.  Adductor SMR: 3 x 1-2 Minutes
  2. Quadriceps Band Stretch: 3 x 1 Minute (10 Second Stretch, 5 Resist)
  3. Circle Band Side Walks: 3 x 15-20 Seconds
  4. Glute Bridge: 3 x 8-10 (Hold at top)
  5. Squat Adductor Stretch: 3 x 20-30 Seconds

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