Get out your foam rollers and lacrosse balls—we're talking about the IT band.
Just kidding. You won’t need those two torture devices.
Why is it when we have tightness or irritation in our outer hip or knee, our assumption is often that it's our IT band, and rolling is the answer? Using rollers and balls can help, but don't forget about functional fitness and yoga.
Pain and irritation in the IT band are usually caused by one of two things. First, training too much, too quickly. We believe more is better, so we pile on the miles in the hopes of increasing endurance, speed and fitness. The result is an angry hip or knee. The second cause is general tightness in the band itself caused by lack of flexibility in the surrounding muscles. That tightness begins to pull on the band, and from there, pain is born.
So what do we do to stop and prevent that pain?
Try practicing yoga. The physical practice of yoga is designed to lengthen and stretch the muscles to increase mobility and improve movement patterns. The poses below are a great place to start.