Frequent Recurring Knee Pain
July 6, 2005 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Why do I always get horrible IT-Band Tendonitis? How do you deal with it?

And how can I get rid of it quickly and get back on the bile?

I've been getting ITB Tendonitis all my life. I'm a reasonably active cyclist/mtb'er (4-5 days/wk). I get it regardless of how much or how little I ride. I've had it before I started riding. I probably get it once a quarter or so.

Often the pain comes right before a drop in temperature. I can't put my finger on a direct 'cause'. I wear orthotics, I usually stretch before and after riding, I try and ice my knee (where the tendonitis hurts), take ibuprofen, do the 'Walt Reynolds' stretch, etc. What gives?
posted by neilkod to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've had ITBS (Google) for 10 years now, and can't run 1/4 mile without a knee brace or I experience severe pain. I'm currently running 5 miles without much issue after slow, deliberate increases in duration and intensity.

There are two main things which influence the pain -- stress and biomechanics. The problem with this thing is it isn't like a cold you can treat or grimace through and it goes away. If you overuse or do something mechanically incorrect, it will probably come around to bother you again.

Best advice? See a doctor, particularly a sports medicine specialist. She can show you exercises to strengthen muscles and streteches for the ITB.

What's worked for me is to pay attention. At the slightest hint of tightness or pain, I stop. Immediately. Granted, mine is probably more severe than yours (I've had my knee buckle), but even so, listen to your joints.
posted by pedantic at 8:19 AM on July 6, 2005

I should add I stop to keep it from becoming worse that day. The next day, I'm able to go out and be pain free...and add on a few minutes to my workout then.
posted by pedantic at 8:22 AM on July 6, 2005

One thing not mentioned yet is the roller - if you don't have one, I'd highly recommend it. Basically a hard foam roll about the crossection of a paper towel roll and 4 feet long. You lay sideways on the roller supporting yourself with your arms and roll your body up and down the roller on the ITB from knee to hip.

If your ITB is tight it will hurt quite a bit at first, but done preventatively it is the best thing I've found bar none. The rollers can usually be found at gyms and PT places if you want to try one out.

This was recommended to me by my PT when I had the knee-giving-out kind of ITB problems, and it worked like a charm.
posted by true at 8:45 AM on July 6, 2005

As is the case with most injuries, stretching helped me a whole lot. My recovery got much faster when I sterted stretching my IT band. I had IT band problems stemming from trauma (landed on my knee), not repetitive stress, so YMMV.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 8:50 AM on July 6, 2005

pedantic, I have been to numerous ortho's and sports med drs, have gone through PT a few times and have had the occasional shot. Nothing seems to keep it from recurring. This last bout has been particularly frustrating because it popped up after about 5 days off the bike.
posted by neilkod at 9:08 AM on July 6, 2005

ITB syndrome is usually not treated correctly as the symptoms tend to be treated without addressing the weakness that is probably the cause. Here is a link to the Sports Injury Web explanation of the troubles with standard treatment and a set of exercises to help stregthen the IT band at the hip, the most likely place of weakness. I would not go to a doc again, do the exercises religiously for six weeks and see what it gets you.

Stretching and rolling are great for symptom management, and should be continued. Ice is pretty good for inflamation as well.
posted by OmieWise at 10:10 AM on July 6, 2005

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