Running is a great and healthy way to get fit and stay fit. However, with the joys and health benefits of running occasionally come the pesky injuries that can easily affect your body while running. One of these pesky injuries is an IT band injury. The IT band, also known as the iliotibial band or ITB, is on the outside of your thigh and runs from the knee to the top of your hip. The IT band injury is common with runners, and it is possible that you are suffering from an IT band injury and don’t even know it.
Here are three ways to treat an IT band injury.
Use A Foam Roller
Since an IT band injury is common in runners, your IT band might be tight now and may become painful as you run. One of the best ways to work the knots in your IT band is by using a foam massage roller. You want a good IT band foam roller so that you can stretch out the tense area. Fair warning, the first time you use a foam roller to stretch out your IT band it can be pretty painful. However, using one frequently will help reduce your IT band pain in the long run.
Using a foam roller is fairly simple:
- Lie on your side and prop yourself up with one arm.
- Place the roller under your hip.
- Move your body so the roller runs along the outside of your thigh.
- Stop when you get to your knee and reverse directions.
The MojiHeat Heated Roller combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of therapeutic heat. With this added heat benefit, you can better relieve that pain and start recovering.
2. Stretch It
This is something you have heard over and over again, but it bears repeating: one of the best things you can do for an injury is to stretch. Stretching is a simple, but effective way to help your IT band injury. There are several good IT band stretches that can help relieve tension.
One good IT band stretch is this wall stretch:
- Stand just slightly more than an arm’s distance from a wall.
- Place your hand on the wall and lean against it, while placing the other hand on your hip.
- Move the hip facing the wall toward the wall until you feel it stretch.
- Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch sides and repeat.
3. Strengthen It with Side Leg Lifts
Using a large rubber exercise band, perform side leg lifts. This will both help stretch the muscle near the IT band and strengthen it. This is a simple but effective stretch that is easy to do:
- Wrap the exercise band around the calf muscle in a sideways U shape.
- Stand on the two ends of the exercise band with your other foot.
- Extend out your leg until you feel a stretch in your thigh and tension from the exercise band.
- Do a handful of reps and rest.
Make sure you do these exercises to help relieve the tension in your IT band and to strengthen it. However, do not overdo any of these IT band stretches as it can cause additional injuries. As with all injuries, consult a doctor if you have concerns about your IT band or if you experience IT band pain and tension.
Check out Moji for more information about taking care of your body and how to treat injuries.