Self-Massage for the IT Band Using a Pop Bottle
Self-Massage for the IT Band
Using a Pop Bottle

Training-Room Tips: Self Massage Techniques for the Iliotibial Band

Dick Moss

Iliotibial Band Syndrome involves the long fibrous band that runs down the side of the leg, starting at the hip and ending below the side of the knee. If this band is too tight, it rubs over the bony protuberance on the outside of the knee joint (the lateral femoral epicondyle), causing inflammation and pain.

Massage is one of the most effective therapies for IT Band Syndrome (See How to Massage the Iliotibial Band). However, you may not always have someone to help you with the massage. If not, you can use the following self-massage techniques.

Self Massage With a Noodle
Foam rollers allow you to effectively massage the IT band. Although the foam rollers available through medical supply companies are probably more effective, you can also use the inexpensive pool noodles that are available in any department store.

Simply lay the noodle on the floor and lie sideways on top, with the sore leg making contact. Then roll back and forth, being sure to roll on all areas of the IT band, from hip to knee. This technique uses body weight to apply pressure to the IT band, effectively stretching it and breaking down adhesions.

Pop Bottle Technique
If you don't have access to a foam noodle, fill a plastic 1- or 2-litre pop bottle with water and roll on the bottle (be sure to cap it first). Keep the feet and legs off the floor as you roll.

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update, 2015.


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