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IT Band Tightness

Plenty of patients present to our office with lateral hip pain and tightness in the IT band. This tends to be very common in runners. They may even be experiencing pain or clicking on the outside of the knee.


Doctor Google will tell you to foam your IT band until the cows come home, but is that really the best course of care? In our opinion, probably not!



Your IT band is actually a multipurpose tendon on the outside of your thigh. It runs from the hip crest to connect the TFL (Tensor Fascia Lata) and the Gluteus Maximus muscles together and to the lateral aspect of the tibia. It also has connections to the lateral hamstring and lateral quad. Tendons are very dense connective tissue structures and do not have much elastic capabilities. Due to this, it is difficult to actually loosen the IT band with foam rolling.


Instead, consider working on the muscles that are associated with it. Foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball in the glutes and on the TFL muscle will be more successful. This will ultimately help to loosen the muscle bellies, causing less relative tightness on the IT band. However, we can't forget about any weak muscles in the area as well. Self care, such as this, in combination with chiropractic and/or massage therapy can be the most beneficial!


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