29 Feb 2024

The IT Band – that notorious source of knee pain for runners, especially as race day approaches. As both a physio and a runner, I’ve navigated the terrain of "iliotibial" band syndrome and emerged with insights that challenge the conventional wisdom. The truth is stark: you can’t stretch the IT band, but you can conquer its pain.

The Myth of Stretching the IT Band:

Contrary to popular belief, no amount of foam rolling, Graston technique, lacrosse balls, or Theragun treatments will alter the IT band's structure. These methods might offer temporary relief by distracting your central nervous system, but they don't address the root cause of your pain.

Why Temporary Tools Can Help:

Using tools like foam rollers can alleviate tension in the muscles around the IT band, providing short-term comfort. If these methods seem to ease your pain, they're not harmful to continue. However, they should not be your sole approach to managing IT band pain.

Understanding the IT Band:

The IT band is a tough length of fibers that runs from your hip to just below your knee. It works in concert with the glute max and TFL muscles to support leg movement and stabilize your hip during running. But when it comes to pain, it's often just a symptom – not the cause.

Identifying the Root Causes:

Over the past 25 years, I've identified several key factors that contribute to IT band pain in runners:

  • Running form issues such as overstriding and hip collapsing
  • Misalignment in the hip, knee, and ankle
  • Imbalances in core and gluteal muscle strength
  • Mobility restrictions in the hip, ankle, and the joint between the tibia and fibula
  • Alignment issues stemming from the rib cage and pelvic diaphragm

Next Level Physio's Approach to Treatment:

At Next Level Physio, we've guided thousands of runners to be IT band pain-free. Our treatments are multifaceted and tailored, including:

IT band pain doesn't have to be a roadblock on your path to personal bests. With Next Level Physio's comprehensive approach, tailored treatments, and a community to support you, say goodbye to the frustration of IT band syndrome.

Are you ready to tackle IT band pain with strategies that work? Schedule your free running physio assessment at our Cary location today and take the first step towards lasting relief and peak performance.

Rethinking IT Band Pain: Next Level Physio’s Proven Strategy for Runners