Like Achilles problems, the IT Band can flare up with very little warning and take quite a while to go away. If you are fortunate — once discovered, the cause of the problem and how to stretch the tendon can be quickly fixed.
The IT Band runs down the outside of your upper leg, from your hip down to your knee. It tends to be most troublesome closer to the knee. Because of the area it is located in, it is pretty difficult to stretch. Here’s what worked for me: If you’re trying to stretch your right IT, stand sideways on a step with your left leg dangling. Drop your left hip and push your right hip to the right. Keep pushing gently and you should feel a good, deep stretch throughout the IT Band. Like most stretches, hold it for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat. The other stretch that works fairly well is performed on flat ground. Again, if you are working on your right IT Band, cross your left leg in front of your right and bend over as if touching your toes. Instead of trying to stretch the back of your legs, lean to your left and push your hips to the right, similar to the first method. Lastly, you might have some success continually massaging the area that is overly tight. You will need your leg straightened for this to be possible, and relaxed. If you’re sitting in class or at work and have nothing better to do, find something to put your leg up on and dig in!
Your other alternative is a foam roller (found at running stores and Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic). By lying on them and rolling back and forth, you give yourself a strong and deep massage.
Good luck and KEEP HEALTHY RUNNING!
For advice on other running questions, contact your therapist at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic.