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I seem to be having problems, after stopping serious running a few years ago due to study commitments I tried getting back into it, on and off, for the lest 4 years and after 10 minutes running get very sharp pain in my knee around the it band insertion, and guess that's the problem. I feel it's not worth seeing a physio as I do not feel they could benefit this particularly, but I wish to spend a lot of time strengthening the muscles in my legs at the gym, stretching and becoming more flexible (cannot even reach within 3 inches of my toes!) and persisting with the light runs.

So, how can you stretch the IT band specifically? I would be interested to hear from anyone with similar experiences ta.

Dan
 

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You can't stretch the ITB specifically as it is a tendon. ITB stretches tend to focus on stretching the muscles that connect to the ITB such as the Tensa Fascia Latae (TFL). The classic ITB stretch involves crossing your left leg behind the right and pushing your left hip out to the left so you feel the stretch in the hip and hold for 30 seconds. You need to repeat this on the other side. You also need to stretch your your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and glutes.

A good stretch for the glutes that also targets the TFL is a piriformis stretch/yoga pose called the pigeon pose. You crouch down, cross your leg in front of you as though going to sit cross legged, extend your other leg behind you and lower your torso down so your forehead touches the floor if you can. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other.

You also want to do some exercises to strengthen your glutes and core muscles as well. A good one is side leg raises. Lie on your side, bend your lower leg - you either either support your hed with your hand or lie out flat and place your other hand infront of you on the floor. Keep the foot of your top foot flexed, engaging your abs raise your top leg to hip height and lower. Try 3 sets of 20 repeations on each side - there are also lots of other glute strengthening exercises such as clamshells/oysters, briding with leg raised, donkey kicks etc.

If you are still running I would run up to the point you start to feel your ITB - for me this used to be arond 20-30 mins (I can for a lot longer now) otherwise the pain gets so bad you can't run and even walking becomes difficult.

Ideally you need to try and isolate the cause: is it overpronation? is there a leg length discrepency? weaknees in the glutes? running consistently on cambered roads? overtraining?

Oh seeing a decent remedial sports massage therapist and having your ITB stripped could help but it is very uncomfortable.

Good luck
 
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