Address the Root Cause of IT BAND Syndrome With Fascia Restoration
by Ashley Black
Allow me to clear the air on the word “syndrome.” Any syndrome is a set of symptoms, so it shouldn’t be called a diagnosis, as it’s often mistakenly referred to. When symptoms are present, there is an underlying cause. For instance, when the outside of our legs ache, we not only want to know how to lessen symptoms, we want to KNOW HOW TO FIX THE SYMPTOMS for good!
You are probably wondering what IT Band (ITB) Syndrome is, and why it sounds so complicated? Simply put, ITB Syndrome is a condition where the Iliotibial (IT) Band swells, causing aching pain from the top of the pelvis to the knee – and anywhere in between. The reason it is called the IT Band is because it runs between the Ilium down to the Tibial track (shown left and highlighted in yellow). We don’t wake up one day and our body decides to retaliate against us, the swelling and aching are a warning signal that something isn’t right with our structure or biomechanics.
The FasciaBlaster® was designed to help restore the fascia and eliminate such symptoms.
One notable fact (because I always hear my clients saying, “my IT band is sooo tight!”) is that the ITB is actually SUPPOSED to be somewhat tight for stability. What is NOT supposed to be tight are the muscles and fascia that adhere to the band. However, this is still a SYMPTOM, not the cause.
When the adductors and hip flexors are tight, they rotate the femur, or thigh bone internally, or towards the inside. When the knee tracks to the INSIDE, it stresses the OUTSIDE. You can simply stand in the mirror with your feet shoulder-width apart and even pressure in both feet. Look at the knee on the affected side, and I am willing to bet that the knee is facing IN. When the knee faces in, we overuse the ITB and the outside muscles of the leg.
Another tendency to “hide” the twist at the knee is rotating the foot out like a duck…. So look down RIGHT NOW and see if one foot is “ducked.” Does your knee turn in? Or your foot turned out? WARNING… you have a twist!
**** The Big MISTAKE **** Rolling out the IT Band will TREAT THE SYMPTOM and can allow you to “hang in there,” but addressing structural alignment of the knee will help FIX the issue. The FasciaBlaster® can help with both!
Signs and Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome (ITBS):
- Pain on the outside of the knee
- Tightness of the ITB (iliotibial band)
- Pain normally occurs during running, especially downhill
- Pain during bending or straightening of the knee that worsens by applying direct pressure to the side of the knee over the sore part
- Weakness in hip movement
- Tender trigger points in the hamstring and gluteal (buttocks) areas
What can one do to help prevent and fix ITBS?
- Use the FasciaBlaster® to self-treat the symptoms and the root cause areas
- Apply ice or cold therapy to reduce any inflammation.
- Use anti-inflammatories (oral or patches like Icy Hot) to manage pain while completing a comprehensive program.
- Do not heat an inflamed area.
- After training, stretch the ITB – iliotibial band, glutes, hip flexors, and long adductors.
- Retrain the patella tendon and other knee attachments to hold the knee in place by performing I.C.E.® exercises.
- Translate knee tracking to walking and running.
I wrote this article detailing the 7 top running injuries, how they happen, how to address them, and how to train smart for injury prevention!