So you have tight IT Bands? That is okay, this situation is very common amongst active adults! The good news is the issues is 100% fixable and you are at little to no risk of major injury, as long as the issue is addressed. Listed below are the most common reasons you may be experiencing pain in your IT bands, and how to address them! Take a look and put these practices to work ASAP.
1. Your hip flexors needs to be foam rolled and or stretched
If you've attended a class at Peak, its likely I have had you roll out your hips, more specifically your TFL's. When this specific muscle tightens it also tightens that specific chain of muscles and joints. The end result is pain resonating in the outside of the knee. The pressure caused by this tight "chain" has a reactionary effect felt in the knee. A month of consistent foam rolling in the TFL could greatly relieve that pain.
2. You need to strengthen your butt.
Butt weakness can lead to other muscles doing more than they are intended. In the case of tight IT bands, working on more glute strengthening is typically highly effective. Simply put, as we age, unless we target the glutes they get weak. You must isolate and target the muscles in your butt if you would like to keep them strong and shapely. Within a few weeks of consistent glute work you will feel relief in the IT band!
3. You need to stretch your hip flexors.
A lot of common repetitive motions can effect your hip flexibility. Working at a desk 8 hours a day, running a lot, and not stretching properly after working out will lead to IT band tightness. Stretching the hip flexors 3-5 times a week for 5-10 minutes will eventually relax the tight muscle and relieve the tension through your IT band, but you most stay diligent about stretching them out regularly.
4. You need to rest effected area until tightness issue is resolved.
In a worse case scenario, you may need to stop doing the movements that are causing the issues, until the are resolved. Running regularly, for example, will make the process of loosening the IT bands more problematic and time consuming. If the pain in the IT Band is almost unbearable, I would consider this approach!
5. You need to address an imbalance in your lower body
Your body is one big chain, and sometimes a link in the chain can be twisted or kinked. This twist or kink could be in your lower back, and is causing pain in your knee. First you need to find the imbalance, and you may need to seek a professional in order to get a proper diagnosis. After that you need to go to work on strengthening whatever needs to be fixed!
In any event, your issues will require you to take action! Walk through all these steps and see if you can relieve the tension and get back to moving without pain. If you need help, reach out to us, and maybe Peak can help you out!