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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stretches for IT band???


Laschwen

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Hi: I was wondering if anybody knew any stretches one can do alone for the ilio-tibial band?

I have one side thet stays tight and the only good stretch I ever had there was done by a shiatzu practioner when I was living in Germany. It seemed kind of wierd because she did it when she found I have a crooked turnout; one side turns way further out than the other.

Anyway, when she did the IT stretch I suddenly had an equal turnout. Unfortunately, I couldn't repeat the stretch alone or have a witness to it who could do it for me, so it didn't stick.

Now I just have trouble with pain in it when doing certain exercises. The worst is a pilates one where you lie on your side with knees drawn up and lift the knee out and back repeatedly or lift the whole leg with it straight. Pain shoots right down to my ankle after only a few reps. I could cry thinking about it.

Naturally the other side is fine.

 

Laschwen

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Laschwen, this is funny. I just did a search on this topic yesterday. I'm asymmetrical too, and getting some kinks in my hips and knees as I get back in shape and work on my turnout. It's all connected!

 

iliotibial search

 

Those postings convinced me that some ball work will help me loosen me up and relax. There's a kit called the Miracle Ball Method you can get on Amazon that's cheap and should get you started right away (link to Amazon at the top of the page to make BT some $$).

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Guest marathongirl

Laschwen, if you are getting pain down to your ankle it may not be your IT band (or it may be radiating pain). The IT band connects right under the knee and runs up to your hip. (Being a marathon runner and marathon coach - I have been fighting an IT band/hip flexor injury now for 6 months :wink: that is finally getting better after PT and stretching!). Generally you feel the pain on the side of your knee and you don't want to bend your leg or up on the side of your hip. There are a variety of stretches you can do for it. I'll see if I can explain some of them. :) Some work better on people than others. My physcial therapist had me do the following:

 

1. Lay on your back, legs out straight, put a strap around your foot (let's say right foot); lift the right leg up to above the height of your left foot; keep right leg straight and pull strap to the left pulling right leg across your body to the left; keep right foot as straigth up and down as possible (if you bend it to the left you will see that you don't get as good a stretch); pull across until you feel the stretch in the right side of your leg; hold for 30 seconds. Do each side twice holding 30 sec each time.

 

2. Doing the right leg again: stand with left side next to support holding on (usually makes it easier for people to have a support, but you don't need one); put weight on right leg and cross left leg in front for balance (it just rests there, no weight really is on your left leg); push right hip out and lift right arm over head until you feel the stretch in your right side hip. (Think of making a "C" with your right leg and right arm wit the open part toward the left or the wll). I love this stretch.

 

3. Doing the right leg again: get a foam roller, lay on your right side and roll your self up and down over the roller (from hip to above knee). Beware that it can really hurt your IT band doing this. But it is good. Here is a link to using the foam roller (IT band stretch is first): http://www.performbetter.com/catalog/matri...yofacialRelease (I also had "active release technique" done on my IT band/hip flexor - similar to this myfacial release, done by chirpractors specficailly trained to do it (not chiropratic sort of stuff at all - if all else fails that may be an option, here is a link to finding a provider: http://www.activerelease.com/providerSearch.asp)

 

This is a very common endurance running injury so type in IT band stretches in google and you will get alot more stretches (just ignore the running advice) :) Here is a link to my podiatrists web site that explains it pretty well: http://www.drpribut.com/sports/spitb.html.

 

Hope some of this helps, it can be a frustrating injury that seems to linger. Stetching is what "cures" it most of the time. I know most of the stuff I sent you relates to running - but an injury is an injury and I imagine would be treated pretty similarly in this case. And there is alot more out there in the running world on this.

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Guest BalletBrat

Great advice has been given already for the IT problem, but I would just like to suggest that you not rule out the Sciatic nerve. Here is a link to some more info on that. Good luck!

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Laschwen, if you are getting pain down to your ankle it may not be your IT band (or it may be radiating pain). The IT band connects right under the knee and runs up to your hip.

 

A couple of things:

I knew the pain all the way down was radiating. It really centered on the side of the hip. My guess is it is really tight. When I extend my right leg in front it doesn't go very high if I am turned out and it seems restricted from the hip to the back lateral part of the knee. I can go much higher to the side, but I suppose that is normal???

I actually feel like tendon is popping (slipping over something near my sit bone or down by the knee) if I go from front extension straight to an attitude (or back again) with my leg on the barre. It is not painful but surprising in the extreme when that happens.

 

My class does that "C" thing at the barre. I think I need to take it a bit further.

I'll try that band thing and check out your links too. I am back in class after summer for about a month now and my addiction to stretching is kicking in now.

Thanks so much.

 

Laschwen

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These things are so complicated...

 

I have a left leg which basically doesn't really like to move at all. I also know that popping sensation when trying to go from attitude to straight leg at the barre. Essentially, I can't do it. All kinds of stuff is crunching and grinding. Lifting my leg turned on to the front is challenging.

 

You *could* have some SI joint dysfunction. I have a spasm-y piriformis from this and really bad sciatica. Like, I can't sit down for very long at all without my butt hurting. It's gotten much worse because I actually managed to sprain the joint. After the sprain, I had numbness in the bottom of my foot and tingling in my leg. It was scary---the doc and I both thought I had a slipped disk! Luckily, it turned out to be a sprain, which irritated the heck out of my piriformis which irritated the heck out of the sciatic nerve.

 

Trying to guess about these things is impossible. The chiropractic seems to help.

 

You could also have trochanteric bursitis (or a precursor to it). That would make the side of the hip hurt.

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...

 

I have a left leg which basically doesn't really like to move at all. I also know that popping sensation when trying to go from attitude to straight leg at the barre. Essentially, I can't do it. All kinds of stuff is crunching and grinding. Lifting my leg turned on to the front is challenging.

 

You *could* have some SI joint dysfunction. I have a spasm-y piriformis from this and really bad sciatica. Like, I can't sit down for very long at all without my butt hurting. It's gotten much worse because I actually managed to sprain the joint. After the sprain, I had numbness in the bottom of my foot and tingling in my leg. It was scary---the doc and I both thought I had a slipped disk! Luckily, it turned out to be a sprain, which irritated the heck out of my piriformis which irritated the heck out of the sciatic nerve.

 

Trying to guess about these things is impossible. The chiropractic seems to help.

 

 

 

 

I never met anyone who had that odd popping thing going on before. I told my teacher about it back in high school when it first happened. We were doing plies while all the way bent over in port de bras. That didn't seem as odd then as it does now...

When I straigntened my legs it was like a blast from hip to knee.

The teacher didn't have any other advice than to keep stretching. She couldn't say why it was happening.

In my house we call the inability to sit for long "chair poisoning". We are just older and take root easily. We also prefer padded chairs.

I have had sciatica after a car accident in my 20's. This is a whole different ballgame.

I have also had a pretty good piriformis (and general vicinity) strain on the same side after doing too much back attitude practice in a pool4 or 5 years ago. That one seems pretty connected to the tight IT band the whole hip girdle tension.

My massage therapist at the Physical Therapy office has done more for me on this than anyone else. My Chiropractor does some extremity work but isn't into the soft tissue stuff personally. He has a MT in the office but the one at the PT office is better. She doesn't fuss about how difficult it is to get into my muscles and loves what going back to ballet is doing for my body and spirit.

I have to say one more thing. It is humbling to go in and have your butt evaluated at the PT office.

 

Laschwen :wink:

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Guest Dancing Duranie

You guys really do cover just about everything here! I tore the medial meniscus in my left knee 8 years ago and the surgery was botched. I spent two years rehabbing it. Btw, this injury was non-dance related.

 

Anyways, when I got to the Center for Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh and they started rehabbing me they immediately wanted to know what I did. They told me I had one of the tightest IT bands they had ever seen. I was like, "?????" They told me that they only saw IT bands that tight in two types of people........dancers and basketball players. I told them I'd done ballet forever. They had me twisted up like a pretzel and I earned the name "The Human Gumby", but they never did get my IT band to stretch.

 

Almost two months back into ballet..........guess what has bothered me all day today? Yeah.........that would be the IT band. :dry:

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Anyways, when I got to the Center for Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh and they started rehabbing me they immediately wanted to know what I did.  They told me I had one of the tightest IT bands they had ever seen.  I was like, "?????"  They told me that they only saw IT bands that tight in two types of people........dancers and basketball players.  I told them I'd done ballet forever. 

 

 

Absolutely fascinating.

A little history here. I have been retired from Sports Massage and Neuromuscular therapy for maybe 6 years now. When I was a sports massage student one of our class projects was to work as a group with our local professional basketball team. At one point that afternoon we two to four students working on one player at a time. The teacher was working on the IT band of one of them and he started yelling "Left! Left! Left!" to indicate who was killing him. The lesson was that from all the running they do on the court the hams and quads will overdevelop and rub the band in opposite directions creating inflammation and adhesions for some people. This guy was an object lesson.

Over development and overuse were the key factors we were supposed to look at with this so I guess some dancers fit the category. I am not overdeveloped but I have an abnormal gait pattern which may have contributed to mine. All that supposedly healthy walking one is supposed to do lately just puts me in PT for tendonitis in my achilles for the same reason. I don't feel the trouble in the IT walking around though.

I should have thought the ballet stretches would help the tight IT band????

 

Laschwen

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Guest Dancing Duranie
I should have thought the ballet stretches would help the tight IT band????

 

Laschwen

 

 

I have no idea. Think about all the releves and such, though. That would certainly contribute to overdevelopment part I would think. They tried stretching me every way they could think of and it would not loosen up. They even tried massaging it. They actually wound up bruising my leg because it just wasn't loosening up. The band was so tight it was pulling my kneecap out of place and off to the left. I had to do McConnell's (?) taping to tape my knee cap back into place. They finally had this little sonogram machine that they rubbed over the IT band that put heat into it. That was the only thing that got it loosen up at all.

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Hi: I am just back from a visit to my Chiropractor who also teaches Karate. I asked about the tight IT and showed him the move that makes something pop tendon over bone. His vote is my lateral hamstring is tighter than the medial and very likely responsible for the popping thing. He showed me some stretch techniques that will hopefully help out.

The IT thing may be involved with crooked turnout though; or it could be an imbalance between hip rotators; inward and outward.

Oh well.... everything wants stretching anyway.

 

Laschwen

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