IT Band Stretches to Relieve Knee Pain
Pain in the joints or tendons is never something an athlete wants but is a constant struggle. By knowing the causes of knee pain we can also learn the tools to relieve knee pain and prevent it from happening again. One of the greatest causes of knee pain is tightness and stress of the IT Band. The IT band is called the Illiotibial Band. This is a tendon connecting the outer portion of the hip to the outer portion of the knee and runs alongside the leg.
This is a common tendon that runners have trouble with, as well as cyclists and athletes whose sport involves a large amount of running. This knee pain and IT Band stress is due to the difficulty in stretching this tissue in comparison to the usage of it. This tendon is aiding in the flexion and extension of the knee, so it is in constant use. We know that stretching out and cooling down major muscle groups used during activity is vital to reducing injury and if a tendon is being utilized constantly but under stretched, it is bound to become over worked and strained. This strain causes inflammation and swelling in the knee area. Typically it is just the outer portion of the knee that will be in pain, other pain of the knee or hip could have other causes.
How to Relieve Knee Pain
As an athlete, learning how to relieve knee pain is crucial to performance on the court. The correct stretches are primary tools in an athlete’s arsenal in relieve knee pain or any other joint pain. The most important rule for how to relieve knee pain is learning how to prevent knee pain and stretching is the ultimate prevention technique.
Maintaining strong muscle around those tendons is another important step to preventing and relieving knee pain. The muscle is holding the bones and joints together tightly and supporting and moving the entire skeleton. Another important factor to maintaining bodily health is allowing the body proper rest between practices and workouts.
Over use of any muscle or tendon will result in pain and swelling. Muscular growth and improvement is found in the time of rest. This rest time should include good nutrition and plenty of water to provide the body proper nutrients for repairing and rebuilding muscle.
How to Relieve Knee Pain: IT Band Stretches
This IT Band stretch will relieve knee pain and requires very little equipment. The Kbands Ballistic Bands are cross training resistance bands that span a variety of uses. These are a vital tool in aiding athletes in stretching the muscles deeply and fully to relieve any pain or pressure. The Kbands Ballistic Bands also help to improve mobility and are perfect for athletic rehab. For this IT Band stretch choose a level of resistance band that is appropriate. The green 50-120 lb. strap is being used in the video.
This IT Band stretch is not a stretch for the hip or lower back, but rather the side of the leg. The cause of the knee pain is the side of the knee, so focusing on this during the stretch will help to relieve knee pain. Start the stretch by lying on the ground on the back. Loop one end of the Ballistic Band around the foot, secure it in the middle of the shoe or arch of the foot. Now, pulling on the Ballistic Band, cross the leg over to the other side of the body. Maintain a straight knee and start the stretch with the foot low and work your way high into a deeper stretch. When the foot is low, use the band to create resistance between the band and foot.
The resistance will be what causes the deep stretch of the IT Band. Pull the band towards the head and the foot pushing the opposite direction. Depending on the amount of pain and strain move slowly into the stretch to prevent further damage. To move deeper into the stretch, slide the hands down and use the Ballistic Band to gently pull the foot toward the shoulder. Depending upon individual flexibility and pain, bring the hands and Ballistic Band over the head, pulling the foot further to the side. Keep the hips square and on the ground, lifting the hips will move the stretch from the side of the knee to the glutes and lower back. The stretch should focus on the IT Band and so the side of the leg. Perform this stretch for 20-60 seconds on each leg twice.
Causes of Knee Pain: Final Thoughts
Above all else, the greatest tool up an athletes sleeve is knowledge. Understanding the causes of knee pain is the most important step in knowing how to relieve knee pain in the most effective way. The best way to relieve knee pain is to work to prevent it by stretching and building proper muscle. The greatest cause of knee pain is persistent use of a muscle or tendon without rest or stretching. Serious athletes are training hard every day to improve their sport, but performing at a level above the rest means rest and stretching before and after each training session or game. Another crucial way to relieve knee pain and muscle pain in general is by using the Kbands Recovery Foam Roller. This is tool all athletes need to improve blood flow to the muscle and therefore recovery time.
By taking the time after training to stretch and roll performance over all will be increased. Also be sure to hydrate and rest the muscles. Muscle is built during the recovery time and can never be used at their full capacity if they don’t have time to rebuild.