Iliotibial band syndrome treatment using cupping technique. This is an amazing treatment for those of you suffering from Iliotibial band pain…common injury for so many runners and cyclists. Ilitibial band pain is not a friction injury, it’s a compression injury with irritation of fat between the iliotibial band and thigh bone. Cupping can really help improve circulation, remove blockages, stretch and decompress the injured area.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So I’m going to show you a technique for improving the mobility of the IT band. It’s a treatment technique for IT band pain or syndrome. But just to review, IT band is the thick band that goes along the outside of your thigh and will attach just below the knee on this area on your shin bone, your tibia, in the upper part of it, and most of the time people complain of pain on the outside or lateral side of the knee along this region. It could be further up, too, but most of the time the complaint of pain is right around this area. It’s most common in runners and people who do a lot of biking, and contrary to popular opinion it’s not a friction syndrome. So just the bending and straightening of the knee does not cause the IT band to rub back and forth on the bone, causing a friction and inflammation or irritation.
The band itself is part of the connective tissue and myofascia, what attaches around the layers of muscles along the thigh. So it’s too thick to be able to move back and forth, contrary to popular opinion, as I said. So the issue is more of compression and irritation of the fat pad as well as the connective tissue that’s underneath the IT band. That’s where the irritation is taking place. Because it’s too tight, it’s causing compression and irritation of a lot of those structures. The fat underneath the IT band, it’s highly vascularized and also innervated, so irritation to that and the other surrounding tissues, which causes all this pain along that region as well as the thick band fibers themselves who might get inflamed and thickened.
So a lot of that pain that’s coming there, we want to work at improving the mobility of that tissue. We want to improve circulation. We want to remove any thickening or adhesions that have formed along that region, free up that tissue so it moves a little better with less compression through there, and for that we’re going to use cupping techniques. So you see in some of my other videos that I’ve done, we use cups for quadriceps tendinosis or tendinitis issues, patellar tendon issues, and it can be used for lots of other things. So cupping treatment is very effective and traditionally used in Chinese medicine and in other Eastern medical systems also. So cups are really effective to improve circulation, to remove blockages and just promote blood flow, lymph, and other fluids to move through that area, an injured area.
But the other reason we’re using it also is because the suction’s that’s created with the cup, we can help separate layers of tissues, some myofascial stretching too, and free up adhesions along that tissue, which is very difficult to do with my hands. I can’t really grab a tissue and separate it this way. And remember, the IT band is too tight, is too stiff. You can stretch some of the surrounding tissues around it further up in the chain, but the actual band fibers are just too thick and it’s difficult to do that.
So we are going to use actually different-sized cups that I have here. Remember, you can go all along this region. So the first thing you can do is just to kind of apply a little bit of oil, herbal oil or some other oil you can apply there, so the tissue glides a little bit better. So one of the simpler techniques, first thing we can start with is, and as you can see I have suction when I pull back, skin tissue gets pulled straight up, I could work at gliding that back and forth, different parts of the thigh, and we can tighten it to tolerance. So again, when I tighten it up I can leave it there too, but I’m going to do just some movement back and forth here to free up that tissue and various layers of surrounding tissues. Pulling it back and forth also promotes some circulation in that area. So even though I’m having pain here, I’m still going to work at freeing up tissues all the way up through here because that’s going to impact what happens down here too. But that’s the first part, just to go along there to free that tissue up.
Second thing we can do is then get more specific. So this region just below the knee on the outside through here I’m going to suction to get good amount of pull with the cup. Next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to up to the next level. I’m going to tighten that up. Again, it’s to tolerance. And finally, the last thing we’re going to do is we’re going to go up through this one. So you can see it’s got pretty good pull on that, and I can leave it there for about five to 10 minutes. When I release, I’m going to pull this down and I do, and you can see how it gets a little bit of that redness through that area.
So, hope you found that helpful. Remember, five to 10 minutes maximum. And you want to make sure you’re not doing this on open skin, or if you have increased sensitivity of the skin, you have diabetes or some health issues, or if the skin is really fragile, you have someone who’s elderly, you don’t want to do that cupping there either. Now, no more than about five minutes initially. You can go up to about 10 minutes or so leaving that cup there, to tolerance, and see how it does. And I really, really find this very effective. It’ll free up all of that tissue here and really help improve mobility of that tissue, promote circulation, and help with getting that IT band issue under control.
So I hope you found that helpful. Leave a comment if you have any questions.