IT Band stretchIT band syndrome (ITBS) is a common condition affecting runners, and there is good news in the fact that it can be treated without needing surgical intervention. Even better, there are measures you can take to prevent it from developing in the first place.

A literature review of the various treatment options published last year in the Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that resting 2 to 6 weeks, stretching, and cutting back on running provided relief from ITBS for 44 percent of participants in these studies. This treatment allowed the runners to return to activity within eight weeks of the injury. Utilizing these same measures, almost 92 percent of the participants were feeling better by six months, and were then able to resume training.

To prevent IT band syndrome and avoid your need for treatment, you will need to build up your glutes to reinforce your body’s largest and potentially most powerful muscle group. The stretches and exercises below will help to build up your glutes and hip flexors, and can be added to any workout:

  • Lying Glute Stretch - Lie face-up on the floor with your knees and hips bent. Cross your right leg over your left so that your right ankle sits across your left thigh. Grab your right knee with both hands and pull it toward the middle of your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in your glutes. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat twice for a total of three sets—and several times a day if you’re really tight.
  • Lateral Band Walks - Place both legs between a mini-band and position the band just above your knees. Take small steps to your right for 20 feet. Then sidestep back to your left for 20 feet. That’s one set.
  • Hip Raise - Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms out to your sides at 45-degree angles, your palms facing up. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your hips. Make sure you’re pushing with your heels. To make it easier, you can position your feet so that your toes rise off the floor. Pause for five seconds in the up position, then lower your body back to the starting position.

For additional information, simply give McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group a call at (916) 961-3434. While on the phone, be sure to schedule your appointment with us, or request one online today!

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