Here is a good image of the IT Band:

Linked Article "Iliotibial Band (IT Band) Syndrome" by Amy Miller Bohn M.D.

A lot of karate people subject their IT bands to this sort of loving attention:

(leg conditioning begins at 1:10)

(Stance checking at 1:50)

(leg conditioning begins at .19)

Outside tension stances also place tension in the IT bands.  As a consequence, just like runners, many karate people suffer from hip and knee problems related to overly tight IT bands.

Here are a couple of articles that address hip and knee problems resulting from tight IT bands:

Knee Pain, Knee Injuries, and Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Excerpt:

If you look at the anterior (front) view of the right thigh muscles and follow the tendon of this muscle down, you’ll see that it runs all the way to the knee. This thick band of tendon is the iliotibial band. Or iliotibial tract, as it is labeled in the diagram.

The knee pain occurs when the tensor fasciae latae muscle and iliotibial band become tight. This causes the tendon to pull the knee joint out of alignment and rub against the outside of the knee, which results in inflammation and pain.

Click here for the rest.

Hip Pain in Athletes

Excerpt:

Hip pain in athletes involves a wide differential diagnosis. Adolescents and young adults are at particular risk for various apophyseal and epiphyseal injuries due to lack of ossification of these cartilaginous growth plates. Older athletes are more likely to present with tendinitis in these areas because their growth plates have closed. Several bursae in the hip area are prone to inflammation. The trochanteric bursa is the most commonly injured, and the lesion is easily identified by palpation of the area. Iliotibial band syndrome presents with similar lateral hip pain and may be identified by provocative testing (Ober’s test). A methodical physical examination that specifically tests the various muscle groups that move the hip joint can help determine a more specific diagnosis for the often vague complaint of hip pain.

Click here for the rest.

Iliotibial band friction syndrome: How to deal with iliotibial band friction syndrome in triathletes

Excerpt:

ITBFS is an overuse injury that produces pain on the lateral knee during running and, occasionally, cycling. Pain is generally caused by an unusually tight ITB, the undersurface of which frictions over the lateral femoral condyle. This occurs during knee flexion and extension at approximately 30 degrees knee flexion when running and cycling, when the ITB flicks over the lateral femoral condyle. This process leads to friction, microtrauma, inflammation – and hence pain develops.

Click here for the rest.

I recognize that it is important to condition one’s legs to be able to receive blows, I practice leg conditioning myself. Here are a couple of videos that demonstrate self myo fascial release techniques and stretches that may help keep our knees and hips healthy.

Self Myo Fascial Release for the TFL/IT Band



How to Stretch Your IT Band and Glutes

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