A Time Saving Tip & 4 Myths about your ITB

Hello Runner,

Are you spending ages foam rolling and stretching your ITB? If so here is a time saver!

Stop stretching your ITB! Its officially a Fact. It’s actually SUPPOSED to be tight!

In case you have not heard yet, recent research has conclusively shown you cannot stretch your ITB. The ITB, which stands for iliotibial band, is a tight supportive structure on the outside of your thigh. It runs form your pelvis to below your knee and is commonly a focus for foam rolling and stretching by runners, cyclists and gym goers alike. The ITB is not a muscle and it is so tough and resilient that you can’t stretch it. Please stop wasting your time. We know how valuable your time is so we thought you would appreciate being given some time saving advice.

Even if you could target it, your chances of changing its length are zero! At best you might be stretching a muscle which helps control the ITB called, tensor facia late or TFL, at the hip but it is unlikely you will be doing this effectively or with much success. The same applies to foam rolling.

Spend more time on your quads, glutes and hip musculature instead. 

This will bring you far better results.

If you think you have ITB issues (runners knee) you will have pain on the lateral aspect of your knee. You won’t have pain in your thigh or at your hip.

 If this is case you need a new diagnosis.

Optimal physio ITB
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So a few myths to dispel here are

1. ITB syndrome is pain in the lateral thigh, it’s NOT and pain will be more towards the knee

2. ITB syndrome you need to stretch it, to recover. You DON’T and actually you CAN’T so your wasting your time.

3. ITB stretches target the ITB. They DON’T even target what you think the do, but despite this they have little impact. Even if you get a stretch on TFL it is unlikely you can get into a mechanical position which would have an impact on the length of this muscle. So to confirm it’s a waste of your time

4. Foam rolling helps ITB syndrome. It doesn’t. It’s painful and a waste of your time. Put it away.

Any further questions please just ask by replying to this email!

Physiotherapy Clinic Newton Mearns, Glasgow
Steven McLean
Head Physiotherapist and Owner
Optimal Physio Limited
+44 3333010205 – Work
PS. Is there any topic you would like more information on? If so please just reply and send us your request. We will then get to work and create some info specifically to help you!