The “Weakly” Muscle – The ITB (Iliotibial Band)

ORIGIN:

A muscular origin where 25% comes from the TFL and 75% comes from the Glute Max. It courses down the lateral aspect of the thigh and also originates on the ilium (hip crest)

INSERTION:

The lateral condyle of the tibia. This is the bony projection just inferior to the knee.

ACTION:

This is a thick fibrous reinforcement of the TFL.

REFERRED PAIN:

In the picture on the left you can see the “X’s.” These mark the areas where trigger points can be located. The red stippled area is the area where pain can be referred. This structure doesn’t technically have trigger points so the deeper structure just beneath the ITB (Vastus Lateralis) is shown and it can cause hip pain, glute pain, thigh pain, knee pain, and calf pain.

DISCUSSION:

THIS IS NOT A MUSCLE and therefore does not have specific trigger points associated with it. When someone foam rolls the “ITB” they are truly foam rolling the Vastus Lateralis which is the most lateral (outside of the leg) Quad muscle or the Biceps Femorus which is the most lateral head of the hamstring muscle. That is why the picture on the left shows the trigger points for the Vastus Lateralis and Hamstring. Since the ITB is a very thick fibrous ligament type structure, it is very unlikely that you could ever loosen it or make it longer. If you have to perpetually foam roll in order to keep yourself from having pain, maybe there is another option. Figure out why it continues to get tight. How would you do that you ask? That’s what we are for. We’ll test you and get to the bottom of things.