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Old 01-21-09, 08:13 AM   #1
James Johnson
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Illiotibial Inflammation

I have been riding regularly for the past 6 or 7 months, not a ton of mileage but probably 1000 miles in the mountains as I live in western north carolina. I got a trainer for Christmas and was working that into my routine as well. I have run only sporadically during this period. I have had some minor twinging episodes that I assumed were IT related when running in the past but nothing crippling. Well, one week ago I went for a run and experienced a crippling pain in my left knee. The run was up hill and it was freezing so I went out harder than usual. 24 hours later my knee was on fire. I was sure I had really damaged it, so I had an MRI and was surprised it was simple IT band inflammation. I have been given stretching exercises to do and ibuprofren. I don't think the IT band was a direct result of cycling since it hadnt showed up on any of my rides no matter how long or steep.

I want to return to cycling as soon as I can, but my knee hurts even doing nothing. I can ride the trainer and it doesnt hurt *more* than doing nothing. My question is do I need real rest, no spinning at all until the inflammation goes away, or can I do some spinning. I had a pro bike fit last week and they made some substantial adjustments but I havent ridden it yet. How long should I stay on the couch? Any advice appreciated. Thanks, JJ
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Old 01-21-09, 09:41 PM   #2
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You didn't mention your age but "substantial adjustments" sounds scary, anything more then a few mm at a time can really affect you.
IT band syndrome is tough if you let it become chronic. I would hook up with a good massage therapist, don't be afraid to ask around for recommendations, can help, go for one treatment and try to incoporate their technique into self-massage.
The old rule of thumb or my old rule of thumb was to ride 400 miles in my lowest gear before starting to ramp it up.
Not that I want to send you away from here but is a great resource for these types of questions. There is a panel of several sports therapists and MDs that answer questions. You can scan there answer forum back to 2003 or email them a question and they usually answer pretty quick or point you to the post dealing with it.
They deal with multi-sport questions as well.
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