The IT Band, or Iliotibial Tract, is a fibrous connection that stabilizes movement actions of the hip. This includes hip flexion, extension, abduction, and medial rotation. It also stabilizes the outside (lateral side) of the knee.
The IT Band is heavily involved in walking, running, hiking, cycling, and any activities that require movement of the hip and knee in conjunction. It also plays a significant role in supporting standing posture by helping lock your knee into hyperextension.
What Causes Pain in the IT Band
The most common causes of pain in the IT Band include:
- Walking or running uphill
- Weak hip, gluteal, or abdominal muscles
- Lack of hip/knee flexibility
- Repetitive running or cycling activities, overuse injury
- Excessive sitting
How to Perform the IT Band Stretch
The IT Band stretch can be performed easily at home. Begin by laying down on your back and bring your knees into a bent position. Raise one leg up and place the outside of ankle on the opposing knee. With the leg with the ankle on the knee, rotate the hip inwards until you feel a good stretch at your hip or knee area. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and repeat on the other leg. Perform 3 repetitions for each leg.
If you are still unsure of how to perform this stretch you can watch the video below where Dr. Raz a physical therapist demonstrates how to correctly perform this stretch. If your back pain continues to persist it is best to be evaluated by a professional to see if you experiencing other underlying conditions. You can do so by scheduling a free consultation with us today.