If you have iliotibial band friction syndrome, then you know how the sharp, burning knee pain can limit your ability to walk, run, and climb stairs.
One common stretch for ITBS is the standing iliotibial band stretch. This involves leaning up against a wall and leaning your hip towards the wall to lengthen the iliotibial band.
While this may be a worthwhile stretch, many of my patients feel the pulling around their hip or mid thigh with this stretch. Often, the stretch should be directed towards the knee. So how can you stretch the ITB close to the side of your knee? Try the sidelying ITB stretch.
This exercise is done while lying on your side. The knee to be stretched is on top. Slowly pull your top knee back and grab your ankle as if you were doing a quadriceps stretch. While holding the quad stretch, place your bottom foot on top of your top knee, and gently pull the knee down towards the floor. A gentle stretch should be felt in the lateral aspect of your top knee. This is the ITB as it crosses the knee.
Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds, and perform the stretch a few times per day. As always, ask your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you need more help with the stretch, consult your local physical therapist.
- See Pictures of the Stretch: Sidelying ITB Stretch