What causes a tight TFL?
The TFL in your IT band will get particularly tight or painful if you’re doing a lot of sitting or if your low back is compromised. It gets tight because it tries to do the work of all the other muscles around it causing it to become sore and tender. In fact, it might even be tender to the touch.
To find this spot, what you’re going to do is find the very edge of your hip. Find the side of the hip then the front of the hip, and the spot you are looking for is in the middle. You are going to want to use the tennis ball to release this area. First you will release the main muscle and then you are going to slide down a little bit and release the thick ligament part, which is actually your IT band.
How do you relax a TFL muscle?
Lay on your side and locate the main muscle so that you can accurately place the ball. Sometimes it’s easier to find it standing than it is laying down. Now that you are there, make a deep bend in your knees so that you can support yourself. Typically since this is so sore you will want to support your upper body upwards a little bit instead of laying your head down because that can take some of the pressure off. Once you’re a pro at this and it’s very relaxed, you could even lay down while you’re doing this.
You’re going to spend about half of the two to five minutes in this upper spot on the muscle. Then you’re going to slowly roll down, maybe one to two inches at the most, and find the other sore spots through there. Now you’re into the ligament portion of your IT band.
This is a myofascial release so you’re not going to want to do a lot of quick movement. You’re going to want to slowly find that next spot. Stay on it for two to five minutes on both sides. You can also follow up with doing a little heat or arnica afterwards because this area in particular can be very sore.
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