IT Band or Iliotibial Band is a thick fascia or connective tissue that runs on the outer aspect of the thigh. It is also known as the IT tract or Maissiat’s Band. It plays a pivotal role in movements of the hip and lateral stabilization of the hip.
IT band gets involved in two conditions-External hip snapping syndrome and IT Band Friction Syndrome.
IT band stretching is beneficial in both the conditions and can be done in the following ways-
- Standing IT Band stretch-Cross one leg in front of the other leg such that the pinkie toes of the feet are together and bend down from the hips and knees slightly bent, touch your toes. Try to place your hands across the floor toward the front leg to give more stretch IT band of the back leg. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and return to the starting position. Do three reps for each side.
- Seated IT Band stretch– Sit in a long sitting position, with your legs extended out in front of you. Cross the affected leg over your other straight leg such the foot of the affected side is placed flat on the floor on the outer side of the unaffected knee. Now, twist your body to look over the shoulder on the affected side until you feel a stretch. Hold the position for 10-15seconds and repeat three times on each side.
- Side-bending IT Band stretch-Cross your legs, keeping the affected leg in the back. Now lean away from the affected leg until you feel the stretch. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat three times, then switch legs.
- Side-Lying IT Band Stretch– Lie down on your side with the IT band to be stretched on top. Now, grasp your ankle and pull your heel to your buttocks. Bring the thigh back down and behind your body. Place the heel of your opposite foot on top of your knee and pull the thigh down farther. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and repeat three times.
Besides IT band stretches, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, foam roller massage, and heat therapy help in relieving tension in IT Band.
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