PDA

View Full Version : IT Band pain



kelownagirl
11-15-2006, 12:40 PM
A recent trip to the massage therapist confirmed that some of the pain I have been feeling in my hip and my knees is IT band pain. She said I have not been stretching enough after long rides (oops, so true...) I am doing some searching on the net to find more info about how to treat the current problem and prevent future pain. Does anyone here any specific knowledge or suggestions that may help me?

Thanks,
barb

Bikingmomof3
11-15-2006, 12:48 PM
Oh I am sorry you are hurting. The only info I have on the topic is from running. Where you given any specific exercises to help correct the situation?

han-grrl
11-15-2006, 12:55 PM
The problem with stretching the IT, is that it is really very difficult to get a specific stretch for the IT. You can stretch all around it, but not really well on the IT.

Using a foam roller and myofascial release is a great way to maintain looseness in the IT.

of course making sure you stretch EVERY DAY is important as well! Flexibility is the one component of fitness that is lost after only a few days (strength and cardio can be maintained for a few weeks after stopping).

Elite athletes will get stretched several times a day and some of them quite vigorously, just to get an idea...

When you stretch a muscle, you are still using it, so it will naturally go back to its shortened state. its only with continued and regular stretching that you get good continued flexibility (and decreased pain)

Flexibility is also the one thing that people leave out...think of it this way, 1 minute of stretching for every 10 minutes of exercise. that means a one hour ride should be with5 minutes of stretching AT THE END!

Stretching before exercise has been shown NOT to improve performance in fact with some power efforts can inhibit performance

Some food for thought!

Smile

Hannah

Bikingmomof3
11-15-2006, 01:00 PM
Excellent advice. :)

After my runs, I do a few minutes of cool down fast paced walking, then I spend about 20 minutes doing either yoga or pilates to stretch everything out.

Bluetree
11-15-2006, 01:01 PM
My coach gave me hard foam roller to "roll out" the muscles of my hip and i-band when it feels tight. It works! It's about six inches in diameter and pretty solid. I'm not sure what its called but I will find out when he gets back in town.

There are also some stretches that help the hip and surrounding area, including the glutes. If your left leg is the one that's tight, sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you. Bring your left knee down so the outside is flat to the ground. Your ankle should be flat also, and the knee joint should be bent around 90 in front of you. Extend your right leg straight behind you. You may have to hoist up with your hands to do this. When your leg is behind you, slowly lower yourself down in a sitting position. Now lean your upper body foward. You can really start to feel the stretch in your hips and glutes. Adjust your knee angle/lean direction until you stretch exactly where you need it.

Another stretch I do is specifically for the i-band. Put your left hand on a desk or high bed. Bend your knees a bit, then extend your left leg behind you and as far past your right knee as possible. You should be moving your left leg laterally, not backwards. Keep the left leg straight, taut and the side of the foot against the floor. Slowly lower your body by bending your right knee and your left elbow. As you lower, your left foot will slide out farther. You will feel the pull of your iband as you do this.

Do both of these enough to stretch, but not to the point where you feel knee pain. Hope this helps!

kelownagirl
11-15-2006, 01:18 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the suggestions! I am interested in the roller thing since two people mentioned it. I wonder where I can buy one? I will check out the larger drugstores or maybe medical stores?

I totally understand about stretching after working out and fully intend to do that from now on. In the meantime, I want to stretch every day so I'm thinking maybe I should ride my exercise bike gently for 5-10 minutes to warm up and then do some stretching? Maybe I'll pull out my yoga dvd's and start with them, adding in some of the specific IT stretches you have mentioned.

Han-grrl - interesting stats - some things I did not know. Thank you.

barb

kelownagirl
11-15-2006, 01:20 PM
Is this the kind of roller you mean? I see they come in 12" and 36" sizes.

http://tinyurl.com/ymfd2j

Bluetree
11-15-2006, 02:26 PM
Barb - yes, that's the one. Not only can it work on your i-band, but it's also good on the hammys and calves, too. I don't know if you'll need the 36", unless you plan on cutting it down and getting two out of it. Mine was cut down from a larger roller and it's only about 18" long, as I only use it for one leg at a time. I know some people use it lengthwise down their back, but I never got much out of that position.

emily_in_nc
11-15-2006, 03:27 PM
I developed ITB Syndrome in 2004 after doing 3 centuries in just 5 weeks. I found some good stretches online. Here are some of them:

http://www.lwcoaching.com/library/runnersguideitbs.htm
http://www.runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?id=6099
http://www.triathloncoach.net/itb_Stretches.htm

You usually hear more about ITB Syndrome in runners, but it can definitely happen to cyclists too. I was instructed to lower my saddle slightly and to avoid hills for a few weeks, as well as long distances. I did that, gradually easing back into riding, and hills, and after about a month, it never gave me another problem. I still do some of the stretches to this day. Googling on "ITB Syndrome" will give you all the information you could ever ask for and more!

Good luck!
Emily

songlady
11-15-2006, 04:29 PM
I find that even more effective than the foam roller is a simple tennis ball. While laying on my side I put the tennis ball underneath the bottom leg and find tight spots by pressing my body (leg) weight into the ball, working my way from knee to hip and back again. It frees the knots/tightness quite thoroughly.

han-grrl
11-16-2006, 06:24 AM
If you are doing any kind of full workout, stretching should be done after you are done.



Thank you, thank you, thank you for the suggestions! I am interested in the roller thing since two people mentioned it. I wonder where I can buy one? I will check out the larger drugstores or maybe medical stores?

I totally understand about stretching after working out and fully intend to do that from now on. In the meantime, I want to stretch every day so I'm thinking maybe I should ride my exercise bike gently for 5-10 minutes to warm up and then do some stretching? Maybe I'll pull out my yoga dvd's and start with them, adding in some of the specific IT stretches you have mentioned.

Han-grrl - interesting stats - some things I did not know. Thank you.

barb

trickytiger
11-24-2006, 09:54 AM
There is another alternative to purchasing a foam roller that works quite well: using athletic tape, attach two tennis balls together by wrapping the tape sort of in a "figure-8" shape. I had a persistent case of ITB inflammation for about a year and a half, and this was what my PT recommended for massaging out the band. It works just like the roller does, but it's cheaper and more portable.

Good luck, and be persistent! Sometimes it takes a little patience while waiting for it to heal.

EBD
11-25-2006, 01:35 PM
I have been having IT band pain (I think . . . outside of my knee) from running for a while now. It's frustrating, like all inflammation, because just when you think it's gone, it can come back. Anyway, I've found various stretches online but I particularly liked the ones here, which have illustrations: http://www.howtostretch.com/iliotibi.htm

I've also tried using ice after a painful run. I wish I could tell you a cure, but my pain keeps coming back! The key seems to be ramping up my distance sloooowly if I've had more than a couple days off from running.

kelownagirl
11-25-2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks Tiger and EBD! Great stretches link - I'm going to try them - and good suggestion about the balls. I have used tennis balls for upperback pain before too.

Here's how I made a home made roller today after I checked out about 6 different stores and couldn't find one to buy (and lots of blank looks when I tried to explain what it was.).

I was at the hardware store and bought a tube of foam pipe covering that's about 2-3 inches across, cut it to about 12 inches long, and stuffed the centre hole with some fabric (a tea towel actually) to give it more stability. Cost me under a dollar and works great!

Here's a pic except the tube I bought was for a bigger pipe so the inside hole was about 2" across.

bmccasland
12-04-2006, 07:05 AM
Gee, it's good to know I'm not the only one. Thank you EBD for the links with photos, I was having trouble visualizing some of the stretches.

One other think I've found - avoid heels. For some reason, wearing anything but flats REALLY aggrivates my ITB. Probably torking my ankles/knees/hips.

songlady
12-04-2006, 08:20 AM
"One other think I've found - avoid heels."


I have found this out recently too!:mad: I bought some wonderful new KEEN mules, and was excited to have cool looking shoes that would work for my orthotics. The heel (only 1.5-2 inches) ended up irritating my bands terribly. Had to sell them on Ebay. Now it's back to my New Balance slip ons.
Interesting to hear that I'm not the only one.

aicabsolut
12-04-2006, 10:48 AM
Foam rollers or other similar things can help for sure.

I just wanted to post the *correct* way to stretch the ITB, because last year my physical therapist told me that all the ways I thought was correct for stretching it really hit other stuff like the hip flexors.

Stand near a table or counter that's fairly high up on you--probably no lower than low-hip height. Stand with it to your side--this will be the side you are stretching. You should be able to put your hand on it from your start point

Let's say you're starting with stretching the left side. Take your left foot and cross it behind the right, turning the foot so that you're resting on the left side of it. The left foot shouldn't be right behind the right but back some too, maybe a foot. Bend your right knee, lowering yourself using your hand on the table to balance, until you're feeling the stretch, no more than when the rear (left) leg makes a 45 degree angle with the floor. This is why you rest on the left side of the left foot--so that leg is straight. Be sure your hips stay aligned. Do not lean with your upper body or at your hips (this is why you bend the right leg). It may help to stand in front of a mirror. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat a few times.

Turn around and change legs.

Sometimes, it's hard to feel the stretch, which is why I cautioned not to go too far to where you might strain something else. If you feel it, you'll mostly feel it up at the hip attachment area.



The best thing that works for me when the ITB gets really knotted up in the middle is to get a deep tissue or myofascial release massage. Unlike rollers, someone else is mashing on me and I am not inflicting pain on myself. So I'm less likely to be a wuss about it and the knots really get cleared.

EBD
12-04-2006, 01:30 PM
I do what sounds like the same stretch, but from a horizontal position - lie on your back, legs flat; raise one leg straight up in the air; either grab your big toe (if you're flexible) or loop a therapy band around your big toe; and gently pull your (straight) leg across your body. Like, for instance, if your left leg is in the air, pull it to the right. Hold for a while, then switch sides.

Hee, stretches are so hard to describe. They always sound ridiculous when you write it out like that.

aicabsolut
12-04-2006, 03:00 PM
Yeah, I think that's the same motion. Maybe using your body weight helps you really get into this stretch better, but then I haven't tried your idea with a theraband.