Friday, October 19, 2012

Foam Roller Exercise for ITBS

Remember i "made" a foam roller some time ago? I have been diligently using it and has seen great results from this simple contraption. One of the main reason i made this was more for prevention of  Iliotibial band syndrome or ITBS as they are infamously known.
What Is ITBS?
To qoute wikipedia:
ITBS is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front while walking. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.
In laymen (or women) terms, it is known as the pain above/side of the knee while walking and running. To some, the pain can be "crippling". I was showing symptom of this and decided that perhaps it is time to do some active intervention.
How To Do It:
Doctors diagnosing ITBS will usually gives you anti-inflamatory drugs such as Celebrex which also double as a pain killer. Usually, they will also order RICE or Rest - Ice - Compression - Elevation. Other methods such as shoes insert and also changes to training will help as well. But one thing that people suffering from ITB can harness is to use a foam roller and do the ITB roll. 
Warning - it is very painful for some.
1. Lie on a foam roller on one side. Use your hand and another leg for support.
Support with hands and feet
2. Start just below the hip/pelvic bone and roll towards the knee. Stop right before the knee (as per above).
3. Repeat by slowly sliding the legs slowly up towards the hips.
4. stop at area that hurts (trust me, it will) and count to 10 at each spot simulating self-myofascial release (SMR) or deep tissue massage. 
How Long To Roll?
I typically takes up to 5 minutes each legs (in conjunction with other foam rolling technique for other legs muscle) and take my time rolling. The "suspended" position works not only my ITBS, it forces my core and shoulder to work to balance as well. 6 weeks after doing this, my legs feel better and stretched - which is super crucial to prevent any injuries caused by the daily mileage i put into my training.
Next: Other Foam Rolling Massages You Can Do At Home

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