“My knee has been bugging me” is what he kept telling me…”Everytime I do my basketball drills and layups..my knee feels really inflamed and it hurts”.  So we tried a lot of things to correct it….everything from new shoes, motrin, stretching, ice, and even an evaluation by an orthopedic specialist.  Still, the knee pain came back each time and I think it got a little bit more sensitive over time, now even flaring up after running.

Then one day I was thinking about it and it hit me.  I mentioned to Shree the IT band stretch and also suggested he use the foam roller to really release the tension in the tissue.  He tried it a few times and wah lah!  No more knee pain and lots more fun basketball drills.  I wish I would’ve realized it sooner!

Having a tight IT band can be the cause of injury and inflammation when moderately tight or it can even lead to slight scoliosis or leg length differences if it’s severely tight.  Stretching or rolling the IT can be helpful to those who:

  • are very active
  • are regular runners
  • do a lot of squatting and jumping
  • are over 30
  • have “un diagnosed” knee pain

IT BAND SUMMARY

What:  The IT band is a band of connective tissue similar in structure to ligaments and tendons.

Where:  The IT band originates at the top of the femur, is connected to both a small muscle on the outside of the hip called the tensor facia latae and the gluteus maximus.  From the top of the hip, it continues down the side of your leg, crosses the knee joint and its insertion point is at the top of the tibia.

Why:  The IT band assissts in hip movement and rotation as well as playing a role in stabilizing the hip, pelvis, and knee.

The IT band is very hard to stretch.  But, if you have access to a foam roller, it’s a wise thing to learn how to use it effectively on the IT.  I’ve included a video and some resources below so you know how to roll and stretch it out.  Try it and Let me know if you notice a difference!