The Iliotibial band is a band of fibrous tissue that runs down the lateral side (outside) of your thigh and is responsible for stabilizing your hip and knee. Cyclists and runners suffer from Iliotibial band (ITB) pain due to the repetitive motion of the band when it moves over the outer knee during flexion and extension. The constant motion in running and cycling causes friction in an exceptionally tight ITB. The pain is usually experienced closer to the end of your workout and can be identified as a burning sensation. ITB pain is more pronounced in road cyclists and runners as opposed to mountain bikers and trail runners due to the more aggressive body movements required in the off-road activities and due to this activity not being as repetitive.
Here are a few tips to help reduce ITB pain while exercising:
Stretch your ITB and upper leg muscles on a daily basis.
Foam roll your ITB and upper leg muscles.
Sports massage is great for ITB pain and treatment.
Ice your lower ITB near your knee after activity.
ITB pain is manageable and can flair up when increasing your training load or intensity. If you constantly suffer from pain there may be an underlying issue such as a weak Vastus Medialis Oblique muscle or weak hip muscles, in this case you should consult a medical professional.
If you have any other tips for reducing ITB pain we would love to hear them?