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Thread: IT band help

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    IT band help

    I've been to a physio and got a diagnosis for IT band probs. It's kind of ongoing - comes and goes. The physio seems unsure why I get it. She says that the tendon is tighter than it should be and pulling the kneecap down onto the tissue behind it, which causes slight pain. But she also says that the muscles on the inside of my legs, near the knee are well developed which should in thoery keep it in check.
    I trust her. And the tendon does feel tight, even to my untrained fingers. She's shown my some stretches and told me to physically pull and push the tenden to stretch it, but I can;t help thinking that maybe the stretching is actually making it worse somehow. I don't know.
    I use normal pedals and have been told by physio to drop saddle a bit and turn my foot outward a little. It has worked (I think), but I've never shaken the problem for long.
    I cycle my daughter to school on my bike (which has a saddle on the crossbar). This requires me to cycle with my knees further out than is normal. COuld this cause it, or could it actually ease it as it requires me to cycle with my foot turned outwards (also, if it caused it, would it not cause it in both knees not just one).

    I went for a 30 mile ride at the weekend, and have felt it all this week. I've got a short tour planned (250 miles) in April and really don't want it to affect it or be affected by it. Is it likely to just rummble on, or might it become debilitating if I push it too much?

    A lot of questions, I know, but I'm a bit perplexed. It came on really suddenly, and like I said, I simply can;t shake it for long.

    Also, are there any suppliment one can take to maybe help it?

    Any help gratefully accepted.

  2. #2
    Junior Member BikeCoachDave's Avatar
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    One thing I would invest in is a very thorough bike fit. You would be amazed how many times alterations to your pedal stance can be helpful in IT band situations. Find a really qualified fitter, ask questions, and then schedule a fit. Im not a doctor or a P.T., so Im not about to offer any medical advice in your situation. Dr. Andy Pruitt covered this and a lot of other IT band problems in his presentation at the Serotta Cycling Summit in Boulder a few weeks ago and I was amazed by his lecture. He also discussed fit and pedal stance and how it plays in these areas. A really proper fit can be amazing when it comes to this for a lot of people.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. I have been considering it.
    One of the peculiar things about it, though, is that it came on really suddenly. Litterally I felt it one day, and that was it. I try to remember which bike I was riding, and if there was anything different about it.
    I've been cycling since I was about 12. I'm now 42, and have rode lots of bikes, and have never, ever had any probelems. Then all of a sudden, I get it.
    Bizzare.
    I do wonder if it's something else, though.
    I changed car, and while I try to drive as little as possible, wonder if it was a deeper clutch (it's my clutch leg).
    Also, I started working in the loft, which reqires me to twist that knee as I climb up into it (it is always that knee that I twist round on).
    Anyone know why we get it, or is it so variable that no definate cause can be pinned down.

    Again, many thanks for the input.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    I've had this problem myself. I think my difficulty has been with the 'teardrop' muscle on the inside of my knee not being developed enough for the training load I was incurring. However, I managed to defeat the problem by buying a "foam roller." None of the stretches were really working, and a physio I knew suggested this device. I mean, it's nothing sophisticated, just a cylindrical piece of very hard foam. I basically lie on my side, and support my body weight on one hand, and on my IT band, which is resting on the roller. Then I basically roll the IT band with the foam.

    If your IT band is tight, when you perform this move, you will know! It hurts like hell. But it really works, at least it did for me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I had IT band problems and went first to a chiropractor who identified the problem. He helped with some massage techniques and accupressure. Then I went to the professional bike fitter. She first analyzed the way I walked and then the way I pedaled. This took a while.

    Bottom line: form is very important. The major muscles to use in the pedal stroke are the quads which are the large muscle groups. When those muscles aren't being use properly then the IT gets used (over use) improperly. I also have flat feet and then got the hard plastic kind of arch support (orthotics). This was to help me rely on the quads instead of the IT. Also form is important because I had knee drift. So now I try to keep the knees close to the inside of the bike. This will let your quads do the work.

    Last thing: I rested meaning I stopped riding for a while, maybe a couple of weeks. Then I resumed riding again. That was two years ago and now no more IT problems.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot. I'll definately check out the roller, and I'll see about resting up a bit.
    Again, many thanks.

  7. #7
    Member sswartzl's Avatar
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    Check your cleat adjustment, especially the rotation.

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