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Re: IT band issues

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  • fortunateblessings
    I ve had knee and IT band issues on and off for many years. I ve found a few things help me with my IT band issues. Strengthening exercises for the muscles and
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 26, 2012
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      I've had knee and IT band issues on and off for many years. I've found a few things help me with my IT band issues. Strengthening exercises for the muscles and tendons supporting the knees, adductors and lower core; stretching; deep massage (like the roller but also manually) and definitely making sure I'm well hydrated.

      For my thing, the balance between among muscles that provide stability through the whole linkage from foot to spine is crucial. When I get an IT thing, it's usually attributable to a loss of that balance somewhere. Often something's blown out/shut down or cramped up. For me, the problem generally also involves at least the tensor faciae latae, the iliacus and the psoas. Sometimes the muscles of the lower leg (esp. peronius l. and b.) get involved too. I know this from the body work I've had that's helped me. And I'll get some relief from doing a little (or a lot of) self massage in the field. The TFL's easy to get at are the peronius l. and b., the iliacus less so and the psoas is tough.

      As I'm sure has happened for many others, it's ended more than one hike for me. So I do regular preventative maintenance and give the weak spots special attention at the very first subtle indications of a flare up. Once it takes off, it seems pretty persistent. The irritation (inflammation) kind of feeds the thing and it tends to spin up quickly into a bigger issue that takes longer to resolve. I imagine that the imbalances responsible for it take some time to reset. Sometimes getting in the water helps a bit, if I give it a rest after.

      I hope you guys will find the solutions you need! Good luck.

      Mark


      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, M L <minafall2004_7@...> wrote:
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      > When I started Pilates lessons a few years ago, the teacher showed me how to stretch my IT bands (and other places) by slowly rolling on a hard foam roller. She said it would prevent my developing IT band-related knee problems over time. Possibly (you don't specify in your OP) this technique is so basic that you assumed we'd all know your girlfriend does this foam roller thing, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. It hurts a lot at first, but over a couple of weeks the IT band loosens up and it starts to feel good.
      > On our JMT hike last summer, during the first couple of days going up from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne, I developed pain on the inside of my left knee, extending along the inside from just above to just below the knee. This would have been some other tendon of course, not the IT band. Wrapping it during hiking for a couple of days afterwards helped. I've felt that same place during exercise sometimes since the trip, at home, so I've taken to rolling the inside as well. (A much more awkward maneuver.) It has pretty much made that pain go away. But of course my troubles have been minor compared to what you describe.
      > Just tossing this out there in case it helps.
      > Mina
      > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      > From: anonwums1@...
      > Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2012 19:00:54 -0600
      > Subject: [John Muir Trail] IT band issues
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      > Hi all,
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      > I was wondering if any of you backpackers have experienced iliotibial (IT) band issues and how you managed it. As I mentioned before, my girlfriend suffers from the condition, which she discovered while in the backcountry as the knee pain went from a dull ache to a nonfunctional knee in about a day of backpacking. It's been 2 years since the first episode, and the condition has come and gone on trips, sometimes severely enough to cut the trip short. She's since switched to a better-fitting, lighter pack, started using trekking poles, Cho-Pat braces, and shifted most of the weight onto me. She's had many visits to the physical therapist to strengthen her gluteus medius and done the accompanying exercises and stretches, which puts the IT band problem in remission but it inevitably comes back. The sports medicine doctors have been pretty disappointing since they mostly seem to think it's a problem with no solution other than maybe surgery. However, the problem has been very nagging and persistent, sometimes disappearing for months, and sometimes coming back randomly and causing pain while just walking around. Obviously, she is getting very frustrated that it's keeping her from doing all the things she loves. There seems to be a bit of information on how runners deal with it, but I can't find too much information for backpackers, in which the biomechanics are obviously different.
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      > She can't go hiking with me on the JMT later this year, mostly because of other obligations, which is good because she has about 9 months of forced vacation from hiking to heal. But I really want to find her something that just works so she can hike it with me in the future.
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      > Anyone else have any suggestions? We're slowly migrating towards lightweight backpacking, but buying all the gear is expensive considering that she can't use any of it due to the pain!
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      > Thanks,
      > Adam
      >
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