How to Deal With IT Band Pain.
It’s so common to have that nagging pain on the outside of your knee. It doesn’t start all of a sudden.
Then there’s also this feeling like a muscle is popping over another. It’s not painful but it's really annoying. The sound isn’t great either.
It slowly creeps up and makes you stop running or at least slows you down.
I remember seeing the most common solutions were stretches. Personally, I never really found the stretches helpful. I don’t remember feeling a stretch no matter what I did. A hip flexor stretch was the one I found to be helpful.
The stretch did help...temporarily. Strengthening was the only thing that made a long lasting change.
The most successful I’ve been with getting rid of IT band pain was when I strengthened other muscles around the hip. The muscle of the IT Band (Tensor fascia latae or TFL) is at the hip, so working on muscles around the TFL will create the most effect.
The exercises below would be great to add to your daily routine to help with IT band irritation.
Clams with an elastic band.
We sit so much during our day that most muscles of the glutes tend to be weaker. Bracing your abs is a trick to feel it in the proper place and not along the IT band.
Semi-Squat with an elastic band.
I would consider this more advanced than the clams. The elastic is there to put a bit more pressure on the glutes to work. When the glutes are contracting the IT band tends to feel less tight and irritated. If you find the clams hard (or irritation along the IT band) then I suggest you hold off on this exercise for a week as you may not be ready just yet.
Hip flexor stretch.
While a stretch wouldn’t be my first thought, I still like to use it to help relax the muscle of the IT band. The proper way to do the hip flexor stretch is demonstrated in the video. You can easily jump to the 2min and 30 sec mark in the YouTube video if you don’t have the time to watch the whole awesome hip mobility video .
Give these exercises a try. While you may not want to, decreasing your mileage will help. The few reps you’ll end up doing will have little effect if you maintain mileage that caused you pain in the first place.