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What does ITBS feel like?

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What does ITBS feel like?

Old 08-02-11, 11:22 PM
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Runner 1
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What does ITBS feel like?

Yep -- still have this weird lateral knee pain.

And I'm still trying to figure out what it is. Why haven't I seen the orthopedic surgeon yet? Oh, I'm in the process of getting there but there's so much bureaucracy it's going to be 2015 by the time I can see him again, and I want to ride my bike already dang it.

So those of you that have had IT band friction syndrome before, can you describe what it specifically feels like?

My pain is on the lateral part of my knee, but very delocalized. I can't pinpoint it at all, and it's almost like ghost pain because it feels uncomfortable and unstable more than it hurts. Imagine someone taking some sort of object and sliding it in between the muscles in that area -- it feels "full".

The best way to describe it is that when I'm almost at the bottom of the downstroke, the lateral part of my knee feels very unnatural. It doesn't hurt -- it's just in a position that doesn't give me a good solid feeling like my left leg does. I get the same feeling when my knee is at the deepest flexion going down stairs.

I'm able to bike on it for a while, but after about a week, I start to get a sharper pain. It almost feels like it's in the lateral ligament connecting my quad to the kneecap, and it radiates outward.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old 08-03-11, 02:19 AM
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thats what it feels like. it means that your knee is not flexing or extending the correct way due to your tight it band. the reason it feels unstable is because your leg is depending on your it band to push down the pedal. this just means you have weak glutes (medius and maximus) and probably weak hamstrings (compared to your quads).

things you can do:
stretch your it band, stretch your hamstrings, strengthen your glutes (this will allow your legs to rely on your glutes more than your it band, which is not a muscle really)

to stretch your it band, use a nalgene bottle or a foam roller. at first, it will hurt so so so bad. i mean bad. look for youtube videos.

do some glute bridges, etc for your weak a$$.

good luck.
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Old 08-03-11, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Runner 1 View Post
So those of you that have had IT band friction syndrome before, can you describe what it specifically feels like?

It almost feels like it's in the lateral ligament connecting my quad to the kneecap, and it radiates outward.

Any ideas? Thanks.
I feel my ITB issues in my hips.

Have you been checked for quadrecep tendonitis?

Do you just feel it with a particular pair of shorts or with all your shorts? How tight is the elastic around your leg just above your knee?
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Old 08-03-11, 08:00 AM
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I had the same thing, I did three things and no longer have any pain.

1) Get a foam roller - 100% do not pass go. Do this today. It hurts, but in a few weeks (hopefully) it will get better. After 3-4 months of using it, doesn't hurt me any more but I still use it to keep loose. Learn how to use it online to stretch your IT band.
2) Stretch every night - again, make it a habit. Start out with a goal of only 10 mins per day. You will naturally up that to 20-30 mins a day. Stretch your glutes too, go online to find a good routine.
3) Go to the gym & strengthen your other muscles - You don't have to be an animal in the gym. Just go and work on areas not hit by cycling. Search online and you will find a ton of stuff, most of which you don't even need weights to use, just body weight.

Oh and check your fit. My saddle was up too high, which caused me to overreach a little bit. Don't think that caused my IT band issues, but don't think it helped either.

Get the foam roller. Get the foam roller.
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Old 08-03-11, 08:08 AM
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one of the biggest things with ITBS you'll notice is that it starts to pain at the beginning of exercise, may go away, but will come back after exercise. If you're having pain going down steps then I would agree with everyone so far that you have a strong likelyhood of ITBS. It's a pain in the ass, and not one of those things that just 'goes away'. Another thing, some people swear by them and I'm one of those guys but check into something like a pat strap/cho strap(or whatever they call them now). Between that and the stretching every single day mine eventually went away. every now and then if my running form gets sloppy I might start having that twinge in my knee that lets me know I'm doing it wrong. hope this helps.
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Old 08-03-11, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mantis Style View Post
I had the same thing, I did three things and no longer have any pain.

1) Get a foam roller - 100% do not pass go. Do this today. It hurts, but in a few weeks (hopefully) it will get better. After 3-4 months of using it, doesn't hurt me any more but I still use it to keep loose. Learn how to use it online to stretch your IT band.
2) Stretch every night - again, make it a habit. Start out with a goal of only 10 mins per day. You will naturally up that to 20-30 mins a day. Stretch your glutes too, go online to find a good routine.
3) Go to the gym & strengthen your other muscles - You don't have to be an animal in the gym. Just go and work on areas not hit by cycling. Search online and you will find a ton of stuff, most of which you don't even need weights to use, just body weight.

Oh and check your fit. My saddle was up too high, which caused me to overreach a little bit. Don't think that caused my IT band issues, but don't think it helped either.

Get the foam roller. Get the foam roller.
+1 to all this. I was never officially diagnosed, but the foam roller got me going again. I tried adjusting my saddle, shorter cranks, even experimented with cleat wedges and none of that helped. Started the foam roller exercises and the knee pain went away within a week or two.

Hopefully that helps you. Knee pain seems to have many possible causes and many different fixes for different people. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-11, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I feel my ITB issues in my hips.

Have you been checked for quadrecep tendonitis?

Do you just feel it with a particular pair of shorts or with all your shorts? How tight is the elastic around your leg just above your knee?
Most people feel IT band stuff at the knee.. Quad tendonitis would be in the front of the knee or on top not on the side. but thanks for playing "i'm not a doctor but i make a horrible one on the intertubes"

Foam roller and IT band/tensor fascia latae stretches. among other things people suggested.
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Old 08-03-11, 12:20 PM
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Foam roller did nothing for my ITBS. Winter seemed to help, but I'm not 100% sure yet. It flares up for me on the downhill of large hikes. Of course, increasing activity too fast will cause it as well.

There is a ton of misinformation out there. It may not be perfect but I found the article below helpful at least because it aggregates what research has been done so far on the topic:

https://saveyourself.ca/tutorials/ili...d-syndrome.php

I'm not sure what you describe sounds like ITBS to me but I'm not an expert. For me the telling thing is definitely walking downhill. On one hike it was nearly debilitating, walk 10 steps, rest, walk 10 steps, etc. Until I hit a flat section, then I could walk totally normally. Oddest thing.
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Old 08-03-11, 01:18 PM
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You probably have it. I had the ITBS issue in college as a distance runner. My treatment at the time was the following:

-ice 20 minutes
-stretch
-30-40 minutes on a stationary bike at an easy speed
-ice 20 minutes
-finally electrical muscle stimulation (done by the trainers)

It took me roughly a month before I was back to normal, however I was 21 years old at the time.
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Old 08-03-11, 02:09 PM
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I injured my IT band from running in January 2010 and it took a full six months to recover.....physio and strengthening as some suggested above, and very limited running/biking. But even today, I'm not quite back to "normal" and I pay close attention to it - always make sure to stretch, both pre and post ride/run.
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Old 08-03-11, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mantis Style View Post
I had the same thing, I did three things and no longer have any pain.

1) Get a foam roller - 100% do not pass go. Do this today. It hurts, but in a few weeks (hopefully) it will get better. After 3-4 months of using it, doesn't hurt me any more but I still use it to keep loose. Learn how to use it online to stretch your IT band.
2) Stretch every night - again, make it a habit. Start out with a goal of only 10 mins per day. You will naturally up that to 20-30 mins a day. Stretch your glutes too, go online to find a good routine.
3) Go to the gym & strengthen your other muscles - You don't have to be an animal in the gym. Just go and work on areas not hit by cycling. Search online and you will find a ton of stuff, most of which you don't even need weights to use, just body weight.

Oh and check your fit. My saddle was up too high, which caused me to overreach a little bit. Don't think that caused my IT band issues, but don't think it helped either.

Get the foam roller. Get the foam roller.
same here. I had IT band issues (lateral knee also) after hiking a section of the App Trail a few mo ago. Used my roller on it for 2 days and the pain was gone. Yours might need longer, but do it. Right now.
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Old 08-03-11, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakedatc View Post
Most people feel IT band stuff at the knee.. Quad tendonitis would be in the front of the knee or on top not on the side. but thanks for playing "i'm not a doctor but i make a horrible one on the intertubes"

Foam roller and IT band/tensor fascia latae stretches. among other things people suggested.
Did the OP not indicate that he sometimes felt the pain where the quad meets the kneecap? Isn't that on top?

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/307850-clinical
"The patient with iliotibial band syndrome typically reports pain at the lateral aspect of the knee; however, in some cases, the presenting symptom is hip pain over the greater trochanter ... Some patients may have tenderness over the greater trochanteric region of the hip."

And I've been diagnosed with it by a sports Dr. I do get some knee pain, but that's minor compared with the hip pain.
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Old 08-03-11, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Did the OP not indicate that he sometimes felt the pain where the quad meets the kneecap? Isn't that on top?

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/307850-clinical
"The patient with iliotibial band syndrome typically reports pain at the lateral aspect of the knee; however, in some cases, the presenting symptom is hip pain over the greater trochanter ... Some patients may have tenderness over the greater trochanteric region of the hip."

And I've been diagnosed with it by a sports Dr. I do get some knee pain, but that's minor compared with the hip pain.
he did say quad to knee cap... but he also said lateral.. he also said ligament.. which is not your quad tendon.. ligament connects bone to bone. you have lateral, medial and 2 cruicate ligaments in your knee.. none of which attach to your knee cap. Knee cap is embedded in your quad tendon

i get a lot of practice deciphering poorly explained symptoms with the college kids i work with. they know what they feel but don't have the anatomical knowledge to explain it.

they way you said "i feel it at my hip" sounded like you were discounting that it was his IT band because it was at his knee. which isn't true.. misunderstanding.

either way.. OP Ice, foam roller, stretching, some time off the bike maybe. I took a month off 2 years ago.. might not have needed that much but that is what other hobbies are for. sometimes you need a break.
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Old 08-04-11, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for the good advice everyone. If it is indeed ITBS, then I should have more than enough information to resolve the issue.

Along that line -- I did one more test today.

This is the first time I've attempted riding in two weeks. I didn't feel too much pain at first, just some discomfort in that area like I said. So I start thinking well maybe it's just in my head. To test that, I decided to do a short all-out sprint while sitting down. Immediately, I felt a very sharp and intense pain radiate starting at my knee and finishing near the top of my thigh. I'd never felt the pain go as far as my thigh before. In addition to that, it was a very well defined line of pain.

So I think this pretty much confirms it's the IT band unless some sensation like this can be experienced at the edge of the quads.

Thoughts?
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