Anatomy with Korede: The IT Band

We’re diving into a special structure called your IT Band. Or, if you want to be fancy, your Iliotibial Band.

Your IT Band is a very interesting structure as it’s not a joint, muscle, or even a bone, yet the role it plays in your functionality is extremely important. I like to think of it as a 3-man band. A little like your Destiny’s Child or TLC; when they work well together, they make some beautiful music. When they don’t, things can go awry.

In our 3-man band, you’ve got your Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL), which is a muscle that sits between the superficial and deep layers of the IT Band; I imagine it’s the lead singer of the group (the Beyoncé) as it’s front and centre and the main part of the IT Band that is recognized. Next up, we have your Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius; these are like the drummer and keyboardist of the group. The three structures all work together to allow for hip flexion, extension, abduction, lateral rotation, and medial rotation. Three key structures that form the base and hold everything together (like the artist manager) are your Femur, Hip and Tibia bones; they are where the muscle trio originate and insert.

Now, as we’ve seen over time, sometimes bands develop friction among members and break up, and when these issues start to occur, a little tender love and care is needed. When bands go on tour and are performing each and every night, they’re not sleeping enough or getting the right nutrients into their bodies to be in the best shape to perform, they can burn out and injure themselves. The same can happen with the IT Band. A common injury to the IT Band is called IT Band Syndrome (ITBS). This occurs when there’s excessive friction from the IT Band being overused from repetitive movements and not being given adequate rest. ITBS can affect anyone, but it’s commonly seen in runners, cyclists or in people that partake in activities that require frequent movement of their hips and knees.

  • In this column, Korede Afolabi, MSc Physiotherapy, explores in-depth anatomy of our fitness classes.

When things like this occur, classes like the NEW | IT Band Release with Lydia | Restorative Stretch Class (24 Mins) are great as they will help to provide relief in the outer part of your leg, leaving you ready to perform your favourite activities.

I hope you enjoyed our session today and learned something new!

Korede