A foam roller is a very effective and versatile tool, however, it is not effective at the one thing that it's used for most – releasing a tight ITB.
The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of connective tissue, that 2 muscles (glute med & TFL) insert into, but it is not itself, a muscle.
It cannot get tight in the same way that a muscle can, so it cannot be stretched or massaged the same way a muscle can.
When your ITB is tight, it's because one (or both) of the muscles attached to it becomes tight. You might be able to get some temporary relief from foam-rolling your ITB, but to create any meaningful change you have to address the root of the problem – glute med & TFL.To get a sound diagnosis on what the problem is, speak to a sports health professional.
In the mean time, use your foam-roller on muscles! Check out this video for some ideas:
For more information on ITB pathologies, email me directly via the contact page. For specific information on an injury you have, or for treatment, contact one of my clinics directly. You can find that information here.
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Dr Mitch Clark