Understanding the IT Band


The title of this post, Understanding the IT Band, and the gif above come from a new article in the Harvard Gazette with a subtitle: New Findings Suggest Hope for Preventing Common Running Injury.

The study is written by Carolyn Eng and co-authored by Daniel Lieberman an evolutionary biologist whose work I have been following forever.

The new findings are from the article as follows:

  • The human IT band has the capacity to store 15 to 20 times more elastic energy per body mass than its much-less-developed precursor structure in a chimp.
  • The IT band’s capacity to store energy during running, and we found its energy-storage capacity is substantially greater during running than walking
  • IT band acts as a spring to aid in locomotion.
  • Which is different that the belief that its primary function is to stabilize the hip during walking.

It is a great article well worth reading but I feel the need to add my two cents to the discussion.

I go on about the same things over and over. I believe that a great deal of spinal degeneration as well as pain in the lower back, shoulders, knees etc., is purely from skeletal misalignment and poor walking patterns.

two pelvis side view   #28 IT Band Position (flat)
These two pictures illustrate ideal alignment on the left and the alignment I see in almost every client I work with on the right.

If our bones aligned like the images on the left there would be much less strain put on the IT Band while walking, standing and running. Instead we all tend to sink our legs forward and our upper body’s backward (though no one thinks they do this) which does terrible things to all parts of the body.

The simple act of getting the leg bones to sit under the hips when walking and standing can have life changing and pain relieving consequences.


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