Should you really be foam rolling your ITB? | Chadstone Region Osteopathy

Should you really be foam rolling your ITB?

Should you really be foam rolling your ITB to help with hip or knee pain (or at all)?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer:

The Ilio Tibial Band is a thick band of connective tissue which runs down the side of your upper leg. It’s often blamed for causing hip pain and runners knee – the theory being that if the ITB is too tight, it can tug on the outside of the hip or knee and cause pain. As such, foam rolling the ITB has been prescribed as an exercise to assist with the supplness of the band. We now know that this is not only painful, but probably a waste of time.

A study published in 2008 (more than a decade ago!) found that it would require approximately 925kg of force to deform the ITB by 1cm. That’s the equivalent of a small car sitting on the side of your leg. In other words, rolling around on a foam roller probably isn’t doing much.
A more recent study found that stretching the ITB is only effective in the area closest to the hip, but it’s likely that the benefit of the stretch is only apprent in the minutes immediately afterwards and not long term.
So what should you do for your runners knee or hip pain?

Have a chat to our Osteo’s about the things that you CAN make a difference to – such as your hamstrings, glutes and quads! Quite often pain may be present due to an overuse of one of these muscle groups, or an underuse of another muscle group. These muscles work together to move your hip and knee, so helping them work in harmony may assist with your leg pain.

Our Osteopaths will assess your hip and knee pain, work out why it’s present and help you understand why you’re sore, and how to fix it.

Have a chat to Ainslie or Shaun to start feeling better, sooner!