Injury Prevention Tips*
Like achilles problems, the IT Band can flare up with very little warning and take quite a while to go away. I was fortunate -- once I discovered the cause of the problem and how to stretch the tendon, the pain disappeared rather quickly.
The IT Band runs down the outside of your upper leg, from your hip down to your knee. It tends to be most troublesome closer to the knee. Because of the area it is located in, it is pretty difficult to stretch. Here's what worked for me: If you're trying to stretch your right IT, stand sideways on a step with your left leg dangling. Drop your left hip and push your right hip to the right. Keep pushing gently and you should feel a good, deep stretch throughout the IT Band. Like most stretches, hold it for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat. The other stretch that works fairly well is performed on flat ground. Again, if you are working on your right IT Band, cross your left leg in front of your right and bend over as if touching your toes. Instead of trying to stretch the back of your legs, lean to your left and push your hips to the right, similar to the first method. Lastly, you might have some success continually massaging the area that is overly tight. You will need your leg straightened for this to be possible, and relaxed. If you're sitting in class or at work and have nothing better to do, find something to put your leg up on and dig in!
*Please note: All exercise, training, health, and nutritional information on this page and throughout Run-Down should be treated as educational in nature. Unless explicitly stated as otherwise, all advice contained within Run-Down's pages is non-medical opinion. Please consult a doctor before embarking on any exercise or training regimen. Run-Down and Dan Kaplan do not assume responsibility for any physical harm that may be caused as a result of advice given on these pages.