A Time Saving Tip & 4 Myths about your ITB

Oct 7, 2020

Hello Runner,

Are you spending ages foam rolling and stretching your ITB? If so here is a time saver!

Stop stretching your ITB! Its officially a Fact. It’s actually SUPPOSED to be tight!

In case you have not heard yet, recent research has conclusively shown you cannot stretch your ITB. The ITB, which stands for iliotibial band, is a tight supportive structure on the outside of your thigh. It runs form your pelvis to below your knee and is commonly a focus for foam rolling and stretching by runners, cyclists and gym goers alike. The ITB is not a muscle and it is so tough and resilient that you can’t stretch it. Please stop wasting your time. We know how valuable your time is so we thought you would appreciate being given some time saving advice.

Even if you could target it, your chances of changing its length are zero! At best you might be stretching a muscle which helps control the ITB called, tensor facia late or TFL, at the hip but it is unlikely you will be doing this effectively or with much success. The same applies to foam rolling.

Spend more time on your quads, glutes and hip musculature instead. 

This will bring you far better results.

If you think you have ITB issues (runners knee) you will have pain on the lateral aspect of your knee. You won’t have pain in your thigh or at your hip.

 If this is case you need a new diagnosis.

Optimal physio ITB
Downlaod our Free ITB and Running Advice Sheet
Download our FreeITB and Cycling Advice Sheet
So a few myths to dispel here are

1. ITB syndrome is pain in the lateral thigh, it’s NOT and pain will be more towards the knee

2. ITB syndrome you need to stretch it, to recover. You DON’T and actually you CAN’T so your wasting your time.

3. ITB stretches target the ITB. They DON’T even target what you think the do, but despite this they have little impact. Even if you get a stretch on TFL it is unlikely you can get into a mechanical position which would have an impact on the length of this muscle. So to confirm it’s a waste of your time

4. Foam rolling helps ITB syndrome. It doesn’t. It’s painful and a waste of your time. Put it away.

Any further questions please just ask by replying to this email!

Physiotherapy Clinic Newton Mearns, Glasgow
Steven McLean
Head Physiotherapist and Owner
Optimal Physio Limited
+44 3333010205 – Work
PS. Is there any topic you would like more information on? If so please just reply and send us your request. We will then get to work and create some info specifically to help you!

Join The Conversation

If you’d like to have your say on this article feel free to add a comment using the form, we love to hear your thinking and open the table to discussion, and hopefully share resources, blog posts, articles and information that’s useful to you!

If you’d like to discuss anything in private instead, just get in touch using the contact details at the bottom of the page!



Leave A Comment

Related Posts

Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

Is Sciatica Pain The Same As Back Pain?
Is Sciatica Pain The Same As Back Pain?

Are you fed up with that shooting pain in your leg and that deep ache in your buttock? Have you seen your GP multiple times for different pain relief to help you sleep at night but can only manage a short walk? The pain from sciatica is horrible.  "Horrendous" is a...

read more
Welcome to Optimal Physio

Optimal ‘Adjective’ best or most favourable; "seeking the optimal solution"   We want Optimal Physio to be more than just a positive experience through receiving the best healthcare to resolve your pain. We want it to be the solution to help you discover the...

read more
Does road running cause knee osteoarthritis?
Does road running cause knee osteoarthritis?

A lot of our patients who attend with knee osteoarthritis believe road running is bad for them and it is harmful.  So does road running really cause osteoarthritis? Knee pain affects nearly 50% of people over the age of 50, and in 25% of those people it become a...

read more