Recurring ITB problems, cause solution?

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  • Recurring ITB problems, cause solution?
  • can anyone suggest a cause/cure for a realy persistent problem?

    it always seems to come back just as i’m getting some degree of fitness back, so its 2 months off doing fek all to let it recover, followed by two months very gradual building up, then back to the start 🙁

    Its not a flexibility thing, the right (problem) knee ive been stretching every time theres even a hint of a tingle of a problem, so can stretch that ITB much much further than the perfectly pain free left leg.

    Stretching works temporeraly sometimes, if im out on a ride and it twinges i can stretch it and its usualy enough to get me home pain free. Then it’ll be fine for a few more weeks, before something happens which stretching isn’t sorting?


    outside of knee?like a sharp electric shock?


    i have been suffering from this since being stupid enough to solo at SITS last year. Lots of rest has helped, but it still niggles. Reading the Andy Pruitt bike medicine book, it would seem that dropping the saddle height a little can help (seems to have helped me) and also look at the angle of your cleats if you run clipless. He says that too much toe pointing ‘in’ can aggravate it too – putting pressure on the outside of the knee.

    It is also suggested that a decent ‘base’ mileage of training is helpful to reduce this, so build uo very gradually. Although oddly, I have been finding that riding SS off road is not too bad (probably due to standing a lot) whereas even a fairly short gentle road ride aggravates it a lot.


    i had it bad years ago.when running i would suddenly get a pain that stopped me bearing weight on that leg.
    tried physio etc…then on speaking to bob downes(ex pro roadie)he said he culd sort it with a deep tisue sport massage.he sorted it in one visit!


    You’ve probably tried it already, but foam roller-type itb stretches? Google those words and a load of sites’ll come up explaining it better than i can.

    yep, just below the joint, tingles last week, last excercise was the gym on monday but it hurt like hell after 10min warming up. And the pains not gone away yet (RICE applied 2-3 times a day).

    I’ll give the foam roller a go first,t he failing that I’ll try a massage, it is very long/flexible, but does tighten up quickly, fairly randomly (i.e. theres no oen thing that sets it off) so maybe thats the key?


    i had it for a while got to the stage that each time it happened meant 2-3 weeks before i could cycle again. try doing different stretches that work on your glutes and lower back. if i stick to a stretching regime it doesn’t come back. i’m guessing that what happens with you is that as you cycle more and your muscles get bigger they tighten everything up again (armchair pysio theory)
    while stretching i use my thumb to massage the backs of my thighs and i can feel everything loosen up. i guess i’m too tight to pay for a sports massage but i have been ITB pain free for about a year.


    As others have mentioned, it could also be related to tight hamstrings, poor core stability. I found raising my saddle height helped as my right leg wasn’t extending fully.

    You could go and see a specialist sports physio – it worked for me 🙂


    I get ITB problems in my left leg, but only when running, not cycling.

    I have seen about 5 physios and they all say basically the same thing/come up with stretches and exercises but nothing has yet sorted it. I have had an MRI and gait analysis that showed nothing majorly wrong (MRI was fine, but I pronate a bit when I run – worse on the leg that is ok though!)

    The basic summary of all the physios is massage and stretch the area – ITBs are notoriously hard to stretch. Get a foam roller to try and break down the tight/hard bits – these really seem to work in relaxing the area but didn’t actually solve my problem. There is also a myriad of strengthening exercises to try. I will try and describe the ones i was given:

    1) Lie on back, bend both knees with feet on floor and push yourself off the ground (so only feet, shoulders and head are down). Straighten 1 leg out (lift foot off floor) and hold for 10, keeping it in line with body and other thigh. Keep hips up and level. Put foot down and repeat on other side. Do pyramid of 10secs down to 1sec then back up to 10 secs on each side.

    2) Lie on back and use a foot stool or chair to put feet on. Hold yourself off the floor so you are bridged between feet and shoulders. Do same as above, lifting one foot up (by perhaps 12″), hold for 10 secs. then lower. Do other leg. Pyramid reps as before.

    3) Example to exercise right leg. Stand on edge of step facing along the step so your left leg is off the edge (only right foot on step. Squat down and touch floor with your left heel. This stops you using your calf to push/bounce back up – keep toes lifted to force you to do this). Keep back as straight as possible and don’t hold onto anything. Do 100 reps. Swap legs and repeat.

    4) Stand on step, facing up the stairs. Repeat squats as above, but squat backwards off step. Stay as tall as possible and don’t hold onto anything.

    5) Take one shoe off.In a controlled manner swing leg with no shoe on backwards and forwards as straight as possible. Don’t use body to swing but just swing leg and keep hips level. You should be able to do lots of these before they hurt – I get to 80 and then it starts to burn on outside of hip. One shoe off is just to lift swinging leg off floor a bit.

    6) Lie on side with legs on top of each other and bent. Right angle between thigh and calf, but more between belly and thigh (don’t bring legs up too far). Keep feet together and lift top knee away from bottom knee. Lower and repeat. Do lots of on both sides. When you get stronger, lift knee then lift heel, lower heel, lower knee. Then you can also do the same, but lift knee, lift heel, straighten leg, bend leg, lower heel, lower knee.

    Then do lots of stretching afterwards!!


    seriously seek bob downes out(basildon)

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