Iliotibial Band Syndrome Foam Roller Stretch

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Foam Roller Stretch

 

By: Dr. Peggy Malone

 

Last week, we discussed Iliotibial band syndrome.  We learned what causes it, how to prevent it and how to get some relief if you are suffering with this common running injury.

 

Also known as Runner’s Knee, Iliotibial band syndrome causes intense lateral knee pain and takes many runners out of their training and away from their goals of the finish line on race day.

 

In the following video, I demonstrate how to use a foam roller to stretch out the quadriceps and the iliotibial band to get some relief.

 

 

 

The perfect time to do this stretch on the foam roller is just after exercise or a shower while your muscles are warm.

 

Start with the anterior thighs or quadriceps muscles.  Working the quadriceps first will bring blood to the upper legs and warm up the area before putting pressure into the iliotibial band directly.

 

With your thighs on the foam roller and much of your body weight in your hands, roll slowly back and forth 20 times from just above your knees to just below your hips.

 

Then bend your knees which will increase tension on your quadriceps muscles and repeat the back and forth motion another 20 times.

 

Then tip to the lateral (outside) part of your quadriceps muscle where it meets the iliotibial band and slowly roll back and forth 20 times.

 

This may be uncomfortable or even painful if you are in a current Iliotibial Band Syndrome crisis.  If it is causing you a lot of pain, take your top leg and bring it forward to the floor and put some weight into it which will take some pressure off the area that you are rolling along the foam roller.

 

The final back and forth should be directly on the lateral side of your thigh right on the iliotibial band. Again, if it is too much as you get started, put some weight into the top leg on the floor.

 

If you do this foam roller stretch/roll every day, the pain will decrease and you will start to feel much better.

 

It’s not a bad idea to include this stretch in your regular post-run (or post-exercise) routine to prevent the pain of Iliotibial band syndrome from returning.

 

Remember to also include gluteal strengthening exercises and hip flexor stretches if you are in a Runner's Knee crisis.

 

Here’s to pain free running and the end of Iliotibial Band Syndrome!

 

Peggy

 

 

 

Dr. Peggy Malone is a Chiropractor and an Athlete who helps other athletes to overcome injury and get back to their sport. Her weekly Television Series 'Living Well" inspires people from all walks of life to take control of their health to be as happy and as healthy as they can be.

A former varsity Basketball and Rugby player, she has since entered the world of endurance athletics where she has completed 2 Ironman Triathlons, 3 Marathons, several Half Marathons and many other Triathlons, Road Races and Off-Road Adventure races of varying distances.

Her own athletic endeavors and injuries have given her valuable insight into working with athletes in her practice for both the care of injuries as well as for the improvement of athletic performance.

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2 Comments
  • Shyamal K.
    September 24, 2012

    What do you think of this work by Ferber et al., referenced here http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/running/strengthening-beats-stretching-when-it-comes-to-this-common-running-injury/article4365074/
    It calls into question whether the foam roller is of any use in rehab and prevention of ITBS. Any studies you can think of which provide evidence to the contrary?
    Thanks in advance,
    Shyamal

    • Dr Peggy
      December 17, 2012

      Hey Shyamal,

      My thoughts on the foam roller are that it is a tool to help manage symptoms…it’s not really rehabilitating, preventing or getting at the root cause of Iliotibial band syndrome or other repetitive running injuries.
      Strengthening and stabilization of the hips/glutes/pelvis is the longer term solution but the foam roller can be a great tool to use in the meantime to manage acute symptoms.

      Hope this helps.

      Peggy

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