If you’re an avid runner, you’ve probably already heard about IT (Iliotibial) band syndrome or ITBS. After all, studies show it’s the second most common running injury. In fact, it accounts for more than 8% of injuries in the lower extremities.
But ITBS isn’t exclusive to runners. Cyclists, hikers, and pretty much anyone using their knees – from basketball players to weightlifters to anyone exercising regularly- are quite likely to develop ITBS. Heck, even sitting all day or standing for prolonged periods without good foot support can result in IT band pain.
This is where your HYDRAGUN comes handy. After all, who wants to schedule and hobble to a spa session when you’re in pain? With a massage gun within reach, you can stimulate your muscles, increase blood flow and relieve the soreness all from the comfort of your home.
In part 6 of this series, we talk about how to use your HYDRAGUN on your IT band.
The Attachment Heads
Your HYDRAGUN comes with 4 regular and 2 stainless steel attachment heads.
The ball attachment is generally recommended for large muscle groups. The fork has dual-point targeting and is great for deeper penetration of medium muscle groups. The bullet head is recommended for pinpoint targeting of tight knots.
The flat heads (1 regular, 2 stainless steel) are suggested for larger surface areas.
You can use your HYDRAGUN all over the body, from the neck, shoulders, torso, legs and feet.
Learn how to properly attach and remove your HYDRAGUN attachment heads here.
Using a Massage Gun on the IT Bands
The IT band is a long piece of connective tissue. It runs along the outside of the leg and goes from the hip to the knee and shin. This muscle’s function is to extend, abduct and rotate the hip. It also stabilizes the knee side and protects the outer thigh.
When the knees are overused and overextended, the IT band becomes tight or inflamed. This in turn causes friction on the knees and results in pain.
Recommended Attachment Head to Use:
- For warm-ups, cool-downs, between sets and for recovery – flat heads
- For tight knots – fork head
1. Choose the attachment.
2. Turn the HYDRAGUN on by holding down the power button until you hear a light click and the LEDs light up.
3. Choose the speed setting by clicking on the power button again.
4. Apply HYDRAGUN to the body.
For warm-ups and between sets:
1. Start at the origin of the muscle. Let the HYDRAGUN glide back and forth across muscle fibers for 15 seconds.
2. Then move the HYDRAGUN to the muscle insertion, moving down and up in a gliding motion for another 15 seconds.
3. Finally, take another 15 seconds and run the massage gun along all muscle fibers.
4. Do this on each leg.
For cool-downs and recovery:
1. To increase blood flow and release tension, float the HYDRAGUN across all the muscle fibers.
2. Move the gun from side to side and then back and forth.
3. Do this for a maximum of 120 seconds (2 minutes).
4. Repeat on the other leg.
Remember, warming up and cooling down properly helps stretch the IT bands and minimizes injury risk.
For deep and tight knots:
For tighter knots, use the fork head attachment. Let the HYDRAGUN rest on the tight area for a few seconds.
Tip: Recommended attachment heads are just that – suggestions. HYDRAGUN can easily be customized depending on your needs so feel free to choose which attachment head and speed works best for you.
Massage is generally not recommended during acute episodes of IT band pain. However, you can massage hip muscles to help relieve the pain in the IT band as well as the knees. Learn how to massage hamstrings here and your quads here.
(See more usage and safety tips here.)
Suffering from pain in other areas? Check out the rest of our muscle recovery series.
If you want to learn more before getting a massage gun Australia has many massage gun reviews that you can check out. This way, you can be sure that you're getting the best recovery device for your needs.