Weakness in the hips can be a cause of iliotibial band syndrome. One the flare up has subsided and you feel comfortable stretching, it is time to start strengthening those muscles. Strengthening the hips and thighs is key to preventing another IT band flare up down the road.
The article linked below provides a lot of insight into ITB Syndrome as well as stretches and strengthening exercises. The exercises I’m showing you today were found at this link.
Bridging with Single Leg Raise
Strengthens glutes, obliques, and thighs!
- Lie on your back with your hands on your hips.
- Lift hips and shift weight onto one foot.
- Extend other leg without allowing pelvis to drop–keep it level!
- Hold for 10 seconds, lower pelvis, and repeat on the other side/leg.
Improves gluteus medius control and function! 😀
- Lie on one side with hips bent at a 45 degree angle and the knees at 90 degrees.
- While keeping your heels together, lift the upper knee by turning your leg out at the hip. Keep your pelvis straight, don’t roll back to lift your leg!
- Hold for 10 seconds and work up to 10 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.
Strengthen the quads and improve knee control!
- Find a stable step. It can be between 2-6 inches high.
- Slowly step down from the step with one leg. Keep your leg straight (knee following toes, not angling inward towards other knee).
- Keep your pelvis level! Put your hands on your hips to help you see if your pelvis stays level.
- Repeat, working up to 3 sets of 10. Do both legs evenly!
- One of the most common running injuries, the ITBS (runnerunleashed.com)
- Say What? Runner “Lingo” 101 (runfindyourhappypace.com)
- Quick Tip of the Week: “X” Does Not Always Mark the Spot (healthheralds.wordpress.com)
- Non-arthritis Hip Pain (smartlivingnetwork.com)
Since my leg has been feeling usable again, I’ve been researching ways to stretch the iliotibial band. Since it is such a large band, it can be tough to get a really good stretch.
Boy, it sure feels awesome when you find that perfect stretch though! I’ve been using the IT band stretch and the bum stretches for my hip pain. It really makes a difference in my day if I start out with these stretches.
The link below is the original page I found these stretches. It is illustrated with cute little stick figures! I thought I could show you the IT band stretches a little better with actual photos though.
IT Band Stretch
Stand on one leg and lean sideways away from that hip. You can put your other leg in front crossways for balance.
Bum Stretch 1
While lying down on your back, cross one leg over the other. Pull the lower leg up towards your chest.
Bum Stretch 2
Sit with one leg bent and cross the other leg over. Press the hip of the crossed leg downwards to stretch.
- One of the most common running injuries, the ITBS (runnerunleashed.wordpress.com)
- Rehab and losing time (blakeisabear.wordpress.com)
- Knee pain in runners…what it means and what to do. (peakphysiotherapyblog.wordpress.com)
I found some great information at the link below. Check it out!
A few weeks ago, the knee pain finally subsided (it only took 4 months). I wasn’t very happy when it was soon replaced with hip pain on the other end of the iliotibial band. Apparently the inflammation can occur at both joints it connects to. Thankfully they don’t both hurt at the same time!
I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on stretching and strengthening exercises. Once the inflammation starts to go down (this can take quite a bit of time), you can work on relaxing the IT band with stretches. The condition can also be treated by strengthening surrounding muscles. ITB Syndrome is often caused by muscle imbalances in the legs.
I’m going to try to post something soon that illustrates the different stretches you can try to relieve IT band tightness. I’ve also found that massage works great! My wonderful husband has spent many evenings trying to massage the tension out. He’s the best! ❤
ITB Syndrome can also be caused by a gait disorder. I’m not sure what caused mine, but I’m going to do my best to stretch and strengthen my leg back into condition.
Do you have ITB Syndrome? What have you done to relieve the pain and tension?