A Student is Complaining about Pain in the IT-Band area.
I have a senior client complaining about pain in what looks like the IT-band. What would recommend to get into that area? I was concerned to recommend rolling on a roller as that might be to intense. Also thinking we could do a set with a rubber bands (lying down) above the knee and pulling top leg away from the bottom (or do this standing – pulling left leg away from right – against a wall).
Answer from Justine
As far as pain in the IT band area – did your client describe the pain? I’m hoping it is a dull ache, and there is no nerve type pain. I agree with not using a roller – too intense and could damage the tissue. IF your client can do a supine, symmetrical twist (both knees bent) that may be a way to stretch it slightly, in addition to the strap stretch with the leg extended toward the ceiling (client on back, opposite leg could be kept bent to limit stress) – bring leg toward you and take leg 6-8 inches across body. To get the breadth of the IT band, this could be done with internal and external hip rotation as well. It can be intense – so have them back out to a place where it is stretching, but doesn’t feel violent.
I’m gonna share a little story that I think would really help. A couple of years ago I was having pretty intense IT band pain on my left side – most likely because I sit in easy pose ALL the time, including on my couch. Then, I went to Mexico in December and got really tan. I got home and my skin was SO dry. So….for vanity’s sake, I got special ‘Vata’ massage oil from Banyan Botanicals to help with my skin. I was doing Garshana (body brushing) and Abhyanga (body oiling) every day. After a couple weeks I noticed a wonderful side effect – the IT band pain was gone. GONE! After it hurting for over 6 months. (Apparently, vanity isn’t always a bad thing!!) The brushing helps move the lymph, and the oiling nourishes the tissues.
The special Vata oil is good, or there is another oil for muscles and joints called Mahanarayan oil
Or your client could use organic sesame or olive oil (not coconut oil as it has a bit of a drying effect). When rubbing it in, picture it saturating all the tissue down to the bone, even including the bone…..and your client can gently massage around the IT band edges too….doing it herself so she can not press to the point of pain. She could also google an image of the IT band and see if she can find the attachment and insertion points in her own body and rub there….loosening the ends will cause relief in the whole band.
I attached a PDF with direction on how to do Abhyanga and Garshana. I hope this helps!!