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Old 10-19-04, 10:44 AM   #1
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how do you stretch the IT band?

it's been acting up, and while i fiddle with the bike some more, i need to find a way to alleviate some of the soreness that i have after a ride. The sore area is the IT band, I'm pretty sure.

there also seems to be some conflicting information regarding when to stretch. should i try to stretch before a ride, or wait a few miles until i'm warmed up a little? i assume i should stretch afterward icing it a good idea?
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Old 10-19-04, 10:49 AM   #2
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Wait until you're warmed up a little before you stretch. You never want to stretch cold muscles.

I recommend the book that I've told everyone else about: "Stretching", by Bob Anderson. It's a bit complicated to explain a stretch to someone, and visuals are always better. That book is available at most stores, and it has the visuals on how to do each stretch. Plus, Bob is an avid cyclist, and he gives a comprehensive explanation for recommended stretching for cyclists (and other sports too) at the end of the book.

Stretching after is highly recommended- actually required. Don't skip that step either.

Icing is controversial. Some folks advocate it, and others do not. I've seen it both ways, and my thought is that if you don't have any damage, why do it? But that's just my opinion. I much prefer the hot tub or a massage or sauna instead.

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Old 10-27-04, 08:43 PM   #3
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Lay on your back. Place a belt or long rope around the foot. Lift the leg just enough to clear the other leg (that is still on the ground) and pull it sideways over the opposite leg with the belt or rope. This will stretch the IT band.
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Old 10-28-04, 07:38 AM   #4
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I found the following on the net:

How To Stretch The IT Band
Cross your right leg over your left leg while standing, and extend your left arm against a wall, pole, chair or other stable object. Lean your weight against the object while pushing your right hip in the opposite direction. Keep your right foot anchored while allowing your left knee to flex. You should feel the stretch in the iliotibial muscle in your right hip and extending down the outside of your right leg.

found a page with an image too:

good luck with your recovery!
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Old 10-28-04, 07:43 AM   #5
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Is that what caused you to have that awful ride the other day, where you fell down the stairs going to the subway, etc...

I can surely understand what happened better now. I had ITB syndrome many years ago when I was a runner. I had to "hop" downstairs. Walking was very painful. The cure seems to be rest. Sorry, but I don't recall what stretches the dr recommended for me, but others here seem to be on target.

Just wanted to offer some sympathy. Good luck!
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Old 10-28-04, 08:00 AM   #6
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Tim, the only way out is to put one of those icy-hot menthol patches on it and get lots of rest. Get a neoprene knee brace or wrap the knee with an ace bandage during the day, that will restrict movement and help things heal better. The irritation is caused when you bend your knees and the thing is sliding around over the top of your knee. By bandaging or wrapping it, you restrict that movement, believe me, you even feel better walking with those things on, my knee pain is totally gone now. Don't bend the knee too much or straighten it too much. I was sitting around in my office with my leg sticking out slightly so it was bent at 120 degrees instead of 90.
Your seat might be slightly too low, causing a lot of stress as you try to apply force with your knee bent too much. The pedals might also be doing it cause it's causing your legs to be in a way that the IT band is falling out of its groove as you pedal.
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Old 10-28-04, 07:54 PM   #7
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I also had that trouble. I found a website about sports injuries. THe good thing about IT is that you don't have to stay off the bike. Just take shorter rides, ride in a lower gear and don't do hills for a while until it feels better. It's just from overtraining. Running may aggravate it, though.

Another stretch: lie on your back, and pull your left knee across your body, not straight across but toward your shoulder,with your leg bent. Hold the stretch and feel your hip really stretch. Do the same with your other leg. This stretches the hip which keeps the IT band from getting tight.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.
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