Ought to You Foam Roll Your IT Band? Right here’s What to Know


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Tlisted here are numerous circumstances that may lead you to wince within the health club or your front room flooring as you foam roll the aspect of your thigh. If you happen to’ve ever felt this sensitivity, it’s seemingly that you simply have been rolling in your iliotibial band, aka your IT band. However the query is: Does foam rolling that space truly assist?

The IT band (ITB) is a thick fibrous connective tissue that is not muscle or bone. Consider it as a seat belt-like tissue working alongside your thigh muscle tissue that extends from the highest of your pelvis (ilium) to the highest of your knee (tibia). You may examine its consistency to burlap—very secure and rigid, says Amy Malone PT, MPT, MS, ATC/L, at Redbud Bodily Remedy. If it is too tight, it could rub up in opposition to your thigh muscle tissue and trigger ache.

Individuals come to know IT band problems, like soreness or IT band syndrome for a complete host of causes, says Malone. You possibly can be a CrossFit athlete doing a variety of leaping or squatting, otherwise you is likely to be a runner who may gain advantage from deeper stretching. Malone says that you can have weaker thigh muscle tissue that predispose you to IT band ache, and weaker hips and even flat toes can not directly pressure the IT band.

IT band points are pretty frequent, so some bodily therapists and private trainers usually recommend foam rolling as a possible answer. Typically talking, there’s proof that foam rolling your physique will help promote blood stream, lowering soreness and selling muscle restoration. However trainers and therapists are cut up on whether or not foam rolling your IT band is a good suggestion. So we requested consultants to interrupt down what they know.

The factor concerning the IT band is that it isn’t a muscle, Malone says. It’s a strip of fascia that isn’t filled with blood vessels, muscle tissue, and even soreness-causing brokers like lactic acid. If these issues aren’t current, the supposed advantages of froth rolling don’t make sense solely, she says.

Nonetheless, some of us consider that foam rolling will help stretch and enhance flexibility within the muscle tissue surrounding your IT band (just like the glutes, and hamstrings). If in case you have continual ache in your knees, legs, or IT band, self-massage like foam rolling, therapeutic massage weapons, or handbook manipulation might promote leisure which might put much less pressure in your IT band or joints, says Alan Tomczykowski PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS with BreakThrough Bodily Remedy.

Even so, Malone says you must method your foam curler with warning. If you happen to roll too arduous, Malone says you may do extra hurt than good. For instance, fluid-filled sacs beneath the IT band referred to as bursae act as a cushion between the knee bone and the IT band. “If you happen to contact on the surface of your hip, it should more than likely be delicate. Not solely is that not irregular, however this space must be prevented when foam rolling as a result of it could irritate and trigger irritation across the bursae,” says Malone. This is the reason scientific supervision is important for this space of the physique. Typically foam rolling will help, however typically it could trigger ache and irritation.

This brings us to a different It band remark: Typically, foam rolling the realm actually hurts. So must you be doing one thing that hurts a lot? Not with out scientific supervision, Malone stresses. Ache is your physique’s manner of relaying data, so in case you really feel like your thigh (or actually anyplace in your physique) is screaming in agony—don’t drive something. “It’s attainable to get too aggressive and both push too arduous or keep on the tissue for too lengthy, creating pointless microtrauma,” says Dr. Tomczykowski.

In a 2013 research from the Journal of Sports activities Drugs, researchers discovered that contributors’ signs decreased by 44 % after 2-6 weeks and skilled a 91.7 % treatment charge at six months. The therapy? A mix of relaxation, stretching, ache administration, and discount of working frequency or an altogether break. One other small research revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Sports activities Bodily Remedy seemed on the influence of stretching and foam rolling on IT band and located {that a} single episode of stretching or foam rolling would not yield many brief time period results (although the authors do say they could possibly be extra useful if one foam rolls over time). Finally, these findings and the knowledgeable recommendation about taking it straightforward recommend that overdoing will not result in higher outcomes.

Typically, your physique solely requires 30-90 seconds of self-massage, foam rolling, and even acupressure to advertise the discharge of pressure, says Dr. Tomczykowski. Some discomfort is predicted, nevertheless it’s not a “no ache, no acquire” scenario. In case your leg is excessively pink or bruising seems afterward, you’re foam rolling too arduous. Moreover, if getting down on the ground is tough attributable to different orthopedic situations, similar to shoulder or knee issues, he says foam rolling is probably not an excellent choice. “You’re attempting to forestall and cut back irritation, not create extra,” Dr. Tomczykowski says.

The excellent news is that there are different strengthening strategies and workout routines your PT can recommend primarily based on the reason for your ache or harm. These strategies might cut back IT band-related ache greater than foam rolling.

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