Hey whats up guys? It's James with Pioneer PT, and I wanted to talk with you today about self release. Specifically for cyclists and runners. Both involve a lot of repetitive stress. For cyclists revolutions per minute (RPM) are about 60-80 revolutions, runners you hit the ground 80-100 times per minute when you are running, and all that repetitive stress can lead to patellofemoral pain or IT band syndrome.
Lets go over how to self release properly. We are going to start with a foam roll. Foam rolling is one of the most common methods for self release. For self releasing with a foam roll you want to target more on the muscle. You do not want to hit the IT band itself. The IT band itself is about the consistency of a leather belt. It is very hard connective tissue that runs down the side of your leg and attaches to the lateral (outer) portion of your knee. Instead, try to focus on your lateral quad. (outer thigh), and your gluts. Specifically your TFL (tensor fascia lata).
Many of you have seen, the foam roll here, you cross your upper leg on top and roll that back and forth. Target at the top of the hip first. Specifically more towards that front half, so you can hit that TFL, which is the muscular portion that leads into the IT band. You can make a much bigger difference on the muscle than you can on the tendon. As you go down focus more on the front part of your leg on the quads, on that lateral (outer) aspect. Back and forth there, if you find a specific spot that is tender. Hold pressure to it. Hold it until you feel it release. It may be a minute, 90 seconds, or even a few minutes. To target that a little bit better, I prefer a lacrosse ball. A lacrosse ball is much more specific and you can hit those "knots" better. So you can start in the gluts again here, right around the hip. Don't go directly over the bone, but you want to go adjacent to it. Find those "knots" in the side of the hip. They are often a little bit more to the front. That will be the TFL that leads into the IT band. When you find an area of tension, hold pressure to it until you feel it relax. You can also target down by the knee. Try to get more quad (thigh). Again, hold until you feel it release.
And that is it for self release today. Please remember target your lateral quad and the outside of your hip. If you continue to have these symptoms and you cannot maintain a healthy leg, come see your physical therapist. We can target specific strengthening exercises that will prevent that from happening again in the future. Take care, bye bye.
James Dulkerian, DPT
Active outdoorsman with an honest soul and a passion for health.