Misconceptions of the IT Band and Foam Rolling for Hip or Knee Pain Relief

Kyle Stull, NASM, CPT, CES, LMT presents some options that address the glutes and TFL with your foam roller.  Video post from asmwellness.com

Clearing up Some Misconceptions of the IT BAND

This video "Misconceptions of the IT Band", was uploaded to YouTube by the TriggerPoint YouTube Channel on August 20, 2013. A transcript of the the video is provided In the following text.  Kyle Stull is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Environmental Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist. It is being re-posted here to expand our understanding of the IT band.

   Welcome back to trigger point Tuesday, today we're going

   to talk a little bit about IT Band Syndrome.  We get quite a 

   a few questions on IT Band Pain, and what we see is that

   there is a little confusion on what is going on.  Every so

   often, I get emails and phone calls about tight IT Bands

   and how to fix it.  Well, the first thing we need to understand

   is that the IT band is not a separate piece of tissue.  It is

   not a separate muscle, it is simply a thickening or extension

   of the fascia latea (the deep fascia of the thigh).  What its 

   function is, it to provide frontal plane stability whenever 

   we are walking or running.  So, in essence it is suppose to

   be tight.  The tightness is not the problem, the problem 

   comes from an imbalance at the hip or foot,  We see a lot

   of people that have flat feet.  In individuals with flat feet we

   often see a resulting internal rotation of the tibia.  Internal

   rotation at the knee is good, but when it is too much or too

   fast, it can put pressure or compression through the IT band

   just superior to the lateral knee joint.  We also see a rigid

   foot, so sometimes the compression on the IT band is an

   issue at the foot preventing proper motion at the foot and

   knee.  Sometimes we see a hip level pelvic complex

   dysfunction, which equates to a lack of stability or strength.

   In addition, we see that there is compression of the highly

   vascularized, innervated, fiberous tissue of the IT Band

   and fat layer found in the region.  In a study in 2017, it was

   found that the sensation of rubbing, had very little to do with

   a rubbing of the IT Band over the bone but was a result of

   compression of the region.  So, what the research tells us is 

   that we can not go directly after the IT band itself if we want

   to make a change.  Instead, we will  start wit a large grid foam

   roller and go after the TFL muscle.  Then we are going to go

   down the vastus lateralis and attack the glutes.  The goal is

   to balance the function of the IT band as it stablizes the leg

   during walking, running and jumping through the muscles

   that control the tension placed on it.  

We will end the transcript as Kyle begins to show how to use the foam roller on the TFL, Vastus Lateralis and Guteus Maximus.  It is important to point out that the purpose of using the foam roller on the musculature, is to improve the ability of the fascial planes to glide over each other smoothly.  The shearing force supplied by the foam roller opens up the fascial tissue connections between the musculature and the IT band.

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