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How Can Runners Avoid IT Band Injuries?

Marathon Runner Top Questions

“What type of stretching and exercises are best for IT band issues?" - Catie

One of the most common, annoying, and painful injuries a runner faces are IT band problems, which runs from the outer hip bone to the lower leg bone and affects both the hip joint and the knee.

"When this muscle is tight, there may be stiffness in the outer hip or knee pain due to misalignment," explained Jill Lawson. "Sometimes the adductor muscles (muscles of the inner thigh) are tight and cause the IT band to be over stretched due to opposing muscle imbalance. Stretching the adductors by sitting with both legs splayed out wide is a great way to loosen the grip they may be having on the IT band."

She continues to describe how you can actually stretch the IT band directly. She prefers to, "lie on my back, sling a strap or a towel around my right foot, raise my right leg, take the strap with my left hand and pull my right leg towards the left until I feel the stretch pull along my outer hip region.”

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