Sometimes I rant, rave or ramble, today I’m just sharing something that popped up on my newsfeed last night. Given the fact that I’ve got 4 (not a typo) foam rollers at home, it was interesting to see a different perspective on them:
Your IT Band is Not the Enemy (But Maybe Your Foam Roller Is)
By: Robert Camacho // BreakingMuscle.com
Foam rollers seem to be all the rage these days and often for good reason. They’ve been demonstrated to restore lost range of motion at certain joints and many of us swear by their ability to help massage away soreness and speed recovery.
Chances are high that if you’ve ever used a roller, you’ve used it to roll out your iliotibial band (IT band), and likely at the recommendation of a trainer or one of your runner friends. It’s okay. We’ve all been there.
But now do me a favor. Stop abusing your IT band. It is your friend, and you haven’t been treating it like one.
Initially, the logic behind rolling your IT band seems fairly sound. Foam rollers increase range of motion and reduce pain. My IT bands are tight and my knees hurt. Therefore I should apply the roller to my IT bands to solve these problems, right? Unfortunately, more often than not the answer to this question is a resounding “no.” It’s quite possible you’re actually doing more harm than help and further stretching an already abused and over-elongated piece of tissue.
In order to understand why rolling your IT band isn’t always a good idea, you first need tounderstand the anatomy of your hips and thighs and the issues that most commonly lead to IT band pain in the first place.