The weather is perfect for getting outside and enjoying those activities you love. However, too much of a good thing can lead to overuse injuries. Iliotibial band syndrome, or IT band syndrome, is one of these.
IT band syndrome is a common injury and accounts for 22% of all lower extremity injuries and is the leading cause of lateral knee pain in runners.
IT band syndrome happens when the connective tissue along the pelvic bone and shinbone becomes too tight and rubs against the thighbone, causing pain in the knee and/or hip.
If you have an inflamed IT band, here are two exercises you can do to ease it.
GLUTE BRIDGE WITH RESISTANCE BAND
Begin with the glute bridge using a resistance band. Researchers have found that using a band is more effective than just practicing the glute bridge on its own.
Place the band just above the knees and then lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. Then lift your hips off the ground while slightly abducting the legs until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
Hold that position for a few seconds before easing back down. Work up slowly to three sets of 10 repetitions.
SIDE-LYING HIP ABDUCTION
This is a great way to isolate the gluteus medius, which is situated on the outer surface of the pelvis.
To perform this, begin by lying on one side on the floor. The top leg should be in a straight line. Tighten your core muscles and lift the top leg upward, keeping the leg straight.
Hold for a few seconds and return gradually. Work up until you can perform three sets of 10 repetitions.
There are many more exercises to stretch and relieve IT band syndrome, and your IT band will thank you. Make sure to talk with your doctor, trainer or physical therapist to find what’s best for you.