I have no idea what I’m doing with a foam roller. Whenever I break one out, I mostly just roll over whatever feels tight or achy, and I figure it something hurts, I’m probably in the right spot. So it was really only a matter of time until someone with more knowledge pointed out that not only was I not helping myself, but in all likelihood probably hurting myself with one of my go-to foam rolling techniques: rolling directly over my iliotibial (IT) band.
The IT band is a ligament that stretches from your pelvis and runs along the outside of your thigh all the way down to your shin. It’s not uncommon for it to become inflamed or irritated due to overuse injuries, which can happen when you’re running, cycling, or doing other types of exercise.
And because it covers so much area in your body, injuries in the IT band can affect your hips, your knee, your shin, even your foot. When it’s affected, it’s common for people to think, as I did, that foam-rolling it (like you would do with a tight muscle) will help loosen any kinks and ease the pain.