Should I roll my ITB?

Should I roll my ITB?

This is a controversial topic for some, but I have a pretty black and white view on the subject..

The ITB (illiotibial band) is on the outer side of your leg and helps attach your hip muscles to your knee. It is strong, non-stretchy tissue that is similar to a ligament and is MEANT TO BE ‘TIGHT’ to help stabilise your knee. Rolling over it will hurt a lot and not actually achieve anything beneficial (it can even then cause it to become inflamed!)

If you are experiencing any pain that you think is associated with a ‘tight ITB’, such as knee pain, it is in fact often the muscles that attach in and around the ITB that are the culprit. In particular the TFL (tensor fascia latae), hamstrings or quads.

Now to think more broadly, these often get tight in the first place because other muscles like your gluts aren’t doing their job. So if you are having knee or hip pain you think might be related to your ITB, you should see a physio to actually find out what your muscle imbalance is so you can be specific with your rolling/exercises. To find a physio in your area of Australia or New Zealand click here.

But if you are just wanting to foam roll for prevention, then I recommend you spend your time rolling over your quads, hamstrings and TFL to get the best benefit (and leave your ITB alone!)

For more info on how to actually roll see one of my earlier blogs on Foam Rolling

Remember to sign up to my mailing list or follow me on Facebook or Instagram for regular physio tips.