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If you have ever dealt with iliotibial band syndrome, you know how truly debilitating this condition can be. Don’t let it get you down. We’ve got the tips you need to alleviate and prevent IT band syndrome such as rolling your outer thigh muscle with a massage roller at home.

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome? 

Iliotibial band syndrome is an injury that comes from strain and overuse. Pain is felt when the IT band (the connective tissues that run along your outer thigh between your pelvis and tibia) becomes taut enough to rub against your thigh bone. Ouch.

What Causes IT Band Syndrome?

IT band syndrome can occur for a number of reasons.

1. Overuse

Training too hard can cause your IT band to become inflamed and tight enough to rub against the bone — especially if you’re not giving yourself enough time to stretch every muscle properly. If you believe overuse is the cause of your IT band syndrome, cut back your training hours and spend some quality time with a massage roller. If you continue at a rate your body can’t handle, you’re going to cause permanent damage.

2. Improper Form

IT band syndrome is not uncommon in athletes who put a lot of strain on their knees and legs, such as bicyclists, runners, and weightlifters. If your favorite exercise activity isolates the muscles in your legs, you must work out with an exceptional form to avoid this condition. Improper technique can do a lot more damage to your body than simply tightening your IT band. If you’re not training too hard, it may be time to get some help perfecting your form.

3. Uneven Ground

Another major cause of this painful condition is the frequent exercise on uneven ground. Long distance runners experience IT band syndrome more than other athletes because they train and perform on the ground that isn’t always even. Running or walking along a slight incline will increase pressure and strain to the downhill leg. Repetitive exercise along uneven terrain is jarring to the muscles, joints, and bones. Listen to your body as you train. Pay close attention to how it reacts along certain trails or during specific exercises.

How to Stretch the Outer Thigh

You can prevent debilitating outer thigh pain by making a few necessary adjustments to your exercise regime. But to relieve your pain, all you need to do is stretch the outer thigh muscle with a foam roller.

Stretching the outer thigh is fairly simple. We’ve broken it down for you in the following steps:

  1. Lay on your right side with your foam roller directly beneath your hip bone.
  2. Prop yourself up with your elbow. Cross your left leg in front of you and place your foot on the ground for balance.
  3. Carefully roll along your foam roller until it is positioned just above your knee before rolling back to the starting position.
  4. Pause and apply more pressure in particularly tight and tender areas.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 on your left side.

By making small changes to your exercise routine and using a foam roller to regularly stretch your iliotibial band that runs along the outside of your thigh, you’ll be able to relieve your outer thigh pain, prevent IT band syndrome, and train efficiently.

 

Running is a great and healthy way to get fit and stay fit. However, with the joys and health benefits of running occasionally come the pesky injuries that can easily affect your body while running. One of these pesky injuries is an IT band injury. The IT band, also known as the iliotibial band or ITB, is on the outside of your thigh and runs from the knee to the top of your hip. The IT band injury is common with runners, and it is possible that you are suffering from an IT band injury and don’t even know it.

Here are three ways to treat an IT band injury.

  1. Use A Foam Roller 

Since an IT band injury is common in runners, your IT band might be tight now and may become painful as you run. One of the best ways to work the knots in your IT band is by using a foam massage roller. You want a good IT band foam roller so that you can stretch out the tense area. Fair warning, the first time you use a foam roller to stretch out your IT band it can be pretty painful. However, using one frequently will help reduce your IT band pain in the long run.

Using a foam roller is fairly simple:

  • Lie on your side and prop yourself up with one arm.
  • Place the roller under your hip.
  • Move your body so the roller runs along the outside of your thigh.
  • Stop when you get to your knee and reverse directions.

The MojiHeat Heated Roller combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of therapeutic heat. With this added heat benefit, you can better relieve that pain and start recovering.

2. Stretch It 

This is something you have heard over and over again, but it bears repeating: one of the best things you can do for an injury is to stretch. Stretching is a simple, but effective way to help your IT band injury. There are several good IT band stretches that can help relieve tension.

One good IT band stretch is this wall stretch:

  • Stand just slightly more than an arm’s distance from a wall.
  • Place your hand on the wall and lean against it, while placing the other hand on your hip.
  • Move the hip facing the wall toward the wall until you feel it stretch.
  • Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

3. Strengthen It with Side Leg Lifts 

Using a large rubber exercise band, perform side leg lifts. This will both help stretch the muscle near the IT band and strengthen it. This is a simple but effective stretch that is easy to do:

  • Wrap the exercise band around the calf muscle in a sideways U shape.
  • Stand on the two ends of the exercise band with your other foot.
  • Extend out your leg until you feel a stretch in your thigh and tension from the exercise band.
  • Do a handful of reps and rest.

Make sure you do these exercises to help relieve the tension in your IT band and to strengthen it. However,  do not overdo any of these IT band stretches as it can cause additional injuries. As with all injuries, consult a doctor if you have concerns about your IT band or if you experience IT band pain and tension.

Check out Moji for more information about taking care of your body and how to treat injuries.

 

If you’re someone who loves running, an injury can be a huge setback that can keep you from hitting the pavement. Runner’s knee is one of the most common injuries suffered by runners or any athletes who bend their knees and legs frequently. This includes those who ski, hike, cycle, or play soccer. In fact, studies show that Runner’s knee makes up 16.5 percent of running injuries, making it the most common running-related issue out there.

Runner’s Knee Symptoms 

What to Do if You Have Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is classified as a general pain in and around the kneecap area. This injury is usually felt behind the kneecap. The technical name of this injury is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), which references the way in which the patella rubs against the femur to cause this pain.

Sometimes people with Runner’s knee feel a popping sensation or even hear a popping sound when running, and the pain can increase when running uphill or downhill. Pain also increases when squatting, kneeling, or sitting for long periods with a bent knee.

For unknown reasons, Runner’s knee occurs more frequently in women than in men. Overweight and obese people are also at a higher risk for getting Runner’s knee.

Runner’s Knee Causes

Simply put, Runner’s knee is an irritation of the knee lining. This irritation most frequently occurs from overuse, including high-stress exercises (think plyometrics or heavy lifting) or working out more than your body can handle.

Runner’s knee can also occur when adding mileage to a usual training regime. Poor form or weakness of other muscles can also cause the injury to worsen. For example, weaker pelvic muscles can cause the femur to turn inward and strike a pressure point that causes the pain of Runner’s Knee. Other causes of Runner’s knee include:

  • Misalignment of the kneecap
  • Flat feet
  • Lack of stretching before and after exercise
  • Arthritis
  • Fracture or dislocation of the kneecap
  • Muscle imbalance in the quads  

Runner’s Knee Treatment 

The most important way to treat Runner’s knee is to get adequate rest. Running through pain, whether sharp or dull, will only worsen the condition and create greater problems down the road. There are other, easy treatment options for mild to moderate cases of Runner’s knee, such as:

  • Applying therapeutic heat to the knee for up to 30 minutes
  • Compressing the knee with an elastic bandage
  • Elevating the knee above heart level with a pillow or stool
  • Taking aspirin or ibuprofen to decrease inflammation
  • Repeating specific physical therapy exercises
  • Improving quad and hip strength
  • Refining running technique and mechanics
  • Proper running shoes that provide additional cushioning and shock absorption

Moji has many helpful products to ease Runner’s knee and other athletic injuries. Specializing in products that apply therapeutic heat to sore muscles, Moji helps limit recovery time so you can continue to be active.  Shop our site to find the right tools to ease your pain and get back to the sports you love.

When to Talk to a Doctor

If you’re experiencing Runner’s knee pain and don’t find relief through the methods listed above, talk to your doctor about the best way to move forward and treat the problem. In the worst-case scenario, you may need surgery to fix damaged cartilage or realign the kneecap. Luckily, most individuals with Runner’s knee will be able to resolve their pain without surgery.

 

Running is a sport that you can easily and quickly get into without spending money on equipment or training. It’s a workout that releases endorphins, reduces stress, and brings the famous “runner’s high.” It’s no wonder, then, that running is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in the United States. In fact, almost 50 million Americans said they went running in 2016.

Running Into Trouble

But there’s a downside to running, and it’s one that any avid runner has experienced. With overuse or increased intensity, running frequently brings on aches, pains, and injuries. These pains range in severity and location.

For example, an avid runner might experience a quad injury, runner’s knee, or a hamstring injury. Sometimes a running injury comes and goes without any need to worry.  Other injuries linger for years and may even lead to surgery or need other serious medical attention before they’re cured.

From IT band injuries to lower back pain, running can bring on a vast array of pains. A handful of the same injuries seem to occur quite frequently among those who regularly run or jog. We’ll cover five of the most common running injuries and discuss the symptoms and treatments to help you cope and so you can get back to pounding the pavement.

1. Shin Splints 

Symptoms

Shin Splints

About 15 percent of all runners experience shin splints, one of the milder forms of a running injury. Shin splints occur with overuse, inappropriate shoes, high arches, or flat feet. The injury presents itself as an aching of the shins and is caused by tiny tears in the surrounding muscles.

Treatments

To recover from shin splints, runners should first take some time off and/or decrease mileage. While taking a break from running, apply heat to the shin area and do cross-training in the form of biking or swimming. Shin splints can be prevented by wearing proper shoes and slowly increasing mileage in the future.

2. Runner’s Knee 

stress fracture

Symptoms

Runner’s knee is an injury that is more common than shin splints. Almost half of all runners will experience runner’s knee at some time or another.  Poor running form or overuse puts pressure on the knee causing this injury.

Treatments

Runner’s knee pain increases when running up or downhill, so anyone experiencing this injury should run on flat terrain or avoid running completely for a few weeks. Runner’s knee can be avoided by using proper running form, strengthening glute muscles, and slowly increasing mileage.

3. Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms

Runners with high arches or flat feet are likely to experience plantar fasciitis, which is characterized by an aching on the top of the foot or bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis also occurs when runners overpronate or have weak core strength.

Treatments

Runners experiencing this type of foot pain may get relief if they apply heat to their heels, arches, and top of their feet. A small massage ball is another great way to relieve the soreness caused by plantar fasciitis. By combining heat and massage techniques, a heated massage ball brings faster comfort and relaxation. Another alternative is a foot massager.

4. Achilles Tendonitis 

Symptoms

5 common running injuries

Achilles tendonitis is the medical term for a tight and irritated Achilles tendon, which is the tendon between the calf and heel. The pain can happen within the tendon itself or in the lower region of the heel bone. If runners have particularly weak calves or have drastically increased their mileage, they may experience this common running injury.

Treatments

Anyone experiencing Achilles tendonitis should stop running until the pain subsides. Applying heat to the pained area and cross-training to strengthen calf muscles will help the injury heal faster. Runners should also be sure to stretch calves properly before and after every run.

5. IT Band Syndrome 

Symptoms

Short for iliotibial band syndrome, IT band injuries occur when the tendon connecting the knee to the hip is inflamed. This drastic and stabbing pain often hurts more when running downhill. Any running that adds stress to the side of the knee will increase the pain.

Treatments

IT band syndrome should be treated by first taking a break from running, taking ibuprofen, and increasing muscle strength with cross-training. For long-term relief, runners should massage with a foam roller. Runners should spend 10 to 30 minutes massaging with a foam roller on a daily basis. The rolling should be focused on the quad and hamstring muscles. As mentioned earlier, Moji offers a heated foam roller that can greatly increase relief. Learn more about Moji’s products for athletes by shopping the website.

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