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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    126

    IT Band syndrome

    HELP!!

    Two months ago pedaling home after a ride I developed a pain in my knee... I've determined it's the dreaded IT band. I tried to stick it out in the next couple of weeks but it progressed. Stabbing pain in the outside of my knee towards the top. As soon as the pain started I began using the foam roller and looking up stretches to loosen the muscles connected to the IT.

    I have been off the bike for two weeks now and the fact that prime riding season in the CO high country is passing by doesn't make the situation better.

    Online diagnosing says to strengthen the glutes and hips. I've found a good amount of executes using the exercise bands. So basically I'm worried about scar tissue and this little fucker becoming a thorn in the side for long term.

    I'm using flat pedals so the clipless pedals being tweaked are not the problem. The pain did start a couple of weeks after installing the new reverb and I'm wondering if I had it set too high.

    Anyone experienced this pain? Remedies? PT exercises?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    1,556
    I've had some form of IT band issues for some time now. I run flats also, fwiw. For me, the pain manifests itself on the outside below my knee, roughly where the IT band inserts into the lower leg. A couple of things that I've learned, have help, didn't help, etc...


    - When the pain flares up, it needs to be rested. I stay off the bike for a day or two, except for maybe a leisurely spin into town on flat roads.

    - I've heard the IT band itself cannot be stretched. You can only change how it interacts with other things inside your leg. But you can't stretch it.

    - Yoga and pilates both help. Here is a yoga routine I've done that targets the issue:

    - It is worth trying kinesio taping techniques to help provide some additional support. The tape (KT Tape or KinesioTex brands) is about $10 a roll and can be found any number of places nowadays. There are instructional videos all over youtube. There are also dozens of taping techniques, some of which will help very little, some may even feel worse but maybe you'll find one that helps a lot. Some people experience no symptoms with a good taping. I've never been that lucky. But I've had a taping help me ride an extra 30 minutes before the pain comes on and that's worth it to me.

    - Lately I've also done some trigger point release style stuff. It's like what you'd do with a foam roller but more focused. I use a tennis ball. This sort of stuff:

    Take your time, go slow, it may hurt.

    -The stretches that have helped me the most are in this video:



    Hopefully one or more of these things will help you. General strengthening and stretching will help as well but are less focused and may not have an effect as quickly. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    706
    Check the discussion over in Gimp Central. Kingdom-tele, jma233, and others have had some great advice, links, etc. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    219
    Take this layman's advice with a grain of salt, but don't assume with certainty that it's your IT band. Pain toward the upper, outer portion of your knee could be patella tracking issues caused by a comparatively weak vastus medialus (VMO). If that's what it is, the good news is that it'll respond to correct PT much more quickly than the IT band. Good luck; I'm right there with you, and it sucks.
    - Joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    5103′N 11404′W
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    360
    Any IT pain issues I had were relatively quickly solved through IMS (intramuscular stimulation) at my PT.
    At the time I was already getting treatment for a back injury so it made sense to have my IT band taken care of while I was there. From what I understand IMS is only a short-term solution, for a longer term solution working on balancing out the strength of the muscles in my legs and working on flexibility has been the key especially to prevent the pain from coming back.

    Not sure where you are located, but it seems like quite a few PTs are offering it up here in Canada. More info about the treatment is here:

    http://www.activesportstherapy.ca/in...r-stimulation/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    395
    A home brew, short-term solution is cross friction massage with bare ice. I always have a couple paper dixie cups filled with water in the freezer. Peel back the top to expose some ice, and jam away on whatever hurts.

    Whenever I get too lazy to do the stretches, I'll get itb pain. Then, the ice keeps me riding, and I'll start stretching again to get things under control.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    93108
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    2,469
    I have ITBS, it is horrible, and has limited my activity for the past 3 years. I got mine running though. Major issues: No flexible hips/guads, no stablization in my glutes. Solution: Yoga, single leg squats, stretch, roll, repeat.

    ITBS sucks, no question about it. It does NOT go away on its own. I rested from running for a solid year...it does not go away without work. I went to a PT for 8 months, paid out of my ass, and it really didnt help.

    Scar tissue can be addressed with deep tissue massage. It will be the most painful thing you have ever been through, but, it works (if you have a wife who has given birth, take her along to watch). Also painful, a psoas release. It can be done on your own, but to get another dose of effective pain, have it done by a pro.

    Links:
    http://strengthrunning.com/2011/02/t...demonstration/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    30
    I had this bad last year and it shut me down from riding for a couple of months. My solution is stretching, some yoga and deep tissue massage.

    Cheap DIY massage can be done with a foam roller at home. tons of videos on youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Su5Svij_4

    I was really hurting paid $25ish for a piece of foam but it worked for me after a week or so. I was thinking that I had a knee injury and was going to need to go under the knife. Happy to learn that It was IT band pain and some work on it keeps it at bay.

    Bike setup has something do with how much it can hurt. I'm find on my 29er, but when I hop on a road bike (loaner not, dialed in on fit) I'm only good for about 15 pain free miles before it hurts. after 30 i'm done and headed for the ice.

    Just my experience...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    where the rough and fluff live
    Posts
    4,154
    I've had cycling-related IT inflammation. Check your saddle height, fore/aft, and twist (relative to your anatomy). Also check how you put your feet on the pedals. Wrong twist at the foot can irritate the IT band.

    You can use a rolling pin or wine bottle to soften the bugged IT band, or foam-roll it.

    I like to stretch IT bands with the cross legs, touch toes stretch. Also, for a home brew cold pack, put corn syrup (i.e., Karo) in a ziploc bag. Freezer, flat, for at least 4 hrs. You can wrap it around the knee's lateral side for 10 mins.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Snowmass
    Posts
    201
    Here's my .02 - beginning of this year start riding, just moved to Snowmass, so it's either straight up or straight down - no in between. Knees start killing me while going up and down stairs after rides- must be fatTER and more out of shape than normal. Continues on until I check my seat, and for some weird reason, it's above the mark about 1/8". Lower it back down, and knees were better in a week, no more lower back pain either.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    126
    Some great info here. Thanks everyone.

    Had a deep tissue massage last night and my quads and glutes were uber tight. Felt great to get some of the built up junk moved out of the muscles.

    I like the idea about the pixie cup ice rubs. Gonna def try that. The tennis ball sounds great as well, really pinpointing the pressure spots.

    I'm off to steamboat this weekend and am going to bring the bike to see if I can ride. I am going to check my seat fit tonight and play with all adjustments.

    I also feel like a walk on the outside of my feet. Feet roll towards outside, would orthotics help? I'm on concrete floors at the shop for 10 hour shifts and am thinking if my feet are tweaked then that is not helping at all.

    Thanks again eryone

    And.... What are must hit trails in the boat??!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    2,584
    Quote Originally Posted by rippinstyle View Post
    Some great info here. Thanks everyone.

    Had a deep tissue massage last night and my quads and glutes were uber tight. Felt great to get some of the built up junk moved out of the muscles.

    I like the idea about the pixie cup ice rubs. Gonna def try that. The tennis ball sounds great as well, really pinpointing the pressure spots.

    I'm off to steamboat this weekend and am going to bring the bike to see if I can ride. I am going to check my seat fit tonight and play with all adjustments.

    I also feel like a walk on the outside of my feet. Feet roll towards outside, would orthotics help? I'm on concrete floors at the shop for 10 hour shifts and am thinking if my feet are tweaked then that is not helping at all.

    Thanks again eryone

    And.... What are must hit trails in the boat??!!
    I'm having ITBS issues as well right now and have been for a while. Usually I don't experience pain, but rather a super unpleasant tightness that won't go away. I recently flared it up on a 32 mile hike with skis on my back. Check out the thread in Gimp Central for some additional info about the subject.

    As far as the bike fit goes, I had good luck lowering my saddle 1.5cm. Make ONE small adjustment at a time, record what you did so you can move it back. You'll be chasing your tail if you start making tons of different adjustments. When I originally started experiencing the issue it was when I got a new road bike with a much narrower q-factor than my mtn bike. Since, I went with Speedplays with longer pedal spindles, this seemed to help as well. It's all about your body and how you're put together. What worked for one person might not work for you. Take it slow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Among Greatness All Around
    Posts
    5,780
    I had IT hiking, backpacking, and even just using the step exercise machine at the fitness center. I got a foam roller and occasionally stretch. However I have not had any IT band pain on the bike. I do also have tight hamstrings though and if seat height is off then knee pain is easily a result. Lowering the saddle (many times you will get pain behind the knee if too high), or raising the saddle helps releave the pain when stress is placed on the knee from the patellar and quadriceps tendons and is generally felt anteriorly.

    Spinning high RPM's with a lower gear (no mashing a big gear up hills, etc.) is the best.
    http://www.cptips.com/knee.htm

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