Ouch.....My Darn Leg Hurts!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


How is everyone today? Good, I hope! I am pretty much completely back to normal after the race minus a tight IT band. My IT band is usually on the tight side, but it has been extra tender lately. Some of you might be thinking, "what is an IT band?" (If you weren't wondering, just skip down a little bit.)

"Iliotibial band syndrome is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The iliotibial band begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint. Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when there is irritation to this band of fibrous tissue. The irritation usually occurs over the outside of the knee joint, at the lateral epicondyle--the end of the femur (thigh) bone. When inflamed, the iliotibial band does not glide easily, and pain associated with movement is the result." [source]

 For me, this pain runs all the way down the side of my leg, and is especially painful around the outside of my knee. So what can you do for IT band syndrome? If you google IT band syndrome you will find a gazillion and one different exercises, stretches, and message techniques, but here is what works for me!

A little Yoga! Here are my two favorite yoga poses to work out a tight IT band.

Revolved triangle is an amazing stretch for you abductor and IT band. For detailed information on how to perform this pose, click here.

Fire log pose is another great stretch for your IT band and it feels amazing on your hips and glutes as well! You can intensify this stretch by walking your hands out in front of you. You can also walk your hands to one side or the other for a nice stretch in your lower back. For more information on how to perform this pose, click here.

Some times you just need to roll it out! The foam roller is really your IT band's best friend.

This exercise works wonders on your IT band, but be careful, it can be pretty intense! For more information on how to perform this exercise, click here. For more information on foam rolling in general, check out this post.

Last but not least, my new toy The Stick. It is a self message tool like the foam roller, but is more portable and easier to use. It's also nice to use when you are super sore because you have complete control over how much pressure you apply. Sometimes, the foam roller is a little too much!


To message your IT band, you simply hold on to each end of the stick and roll it up and down your leg from hip to knee. It feels amazing! You can use "The Stick" on your entire body. I love to use it on my hamstrings, calves, neck, and when I can convince Eric to play along, my back! I got this little beauty at the health and fitness expo before the race last weekend, and I've used it every day since.

If you are having trouble with your IT band, I hope one of these ideas works for you. However, if the pain gets worse over time, it may be time see the doctor. I hope everyone has a great evening and is ready for Friday!

Food for thought:
Do you ever have any trouble with your IT band?
Does anyone else have "The Stick"?

In health,

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5 Responses to “Ouch.....My Darn Leg Hurts!”

  1. what about siatica nerve from the lower back.....any yoga stretching for this ?

  2. oh geez, sorry to hear about your leg. i've been there (it sucks.) make sure you listen to your body and rest if it tells you to. that's something i've yet to learn myself. (sigh... :))

  3. I hope your leg gets to feeling better!! My IT band gets tight when I have my big runs too

  4. I LOVE the foam roller for my IT bands. I discovered that in a pilates class.

  5. I have recently been having some IT band issues, but that foam roller works miracles, seriously. As long as I stretch & foam roll after a run I am good.
    I have see the stick before; your description makes me think I should get one, might have to check it out!


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