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/ Can you help with my IT band syndrome?

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morphomouse - on 08 Feb 2018

I have been mired the past month or so by an irritation at rest and pain when climbing - heel hooking in particular (it also hurts when I am pullng at my leg when I take off my shoes) - in a vertical line to the outside of my hamstring, so to the rear and outer side of my knee. Initial intuition tells me it may be an IT band related pain as I had similar pain from cycling in the past. I want to know if anyone else has been affected by this, whether it is a common climbing injury, if it indeed is an IT band related problem and how to rehabilitate it.

Thanks in advance. It's really irritating and at the point where it is holding my climbing back.

Post edited at 14:57
r0b on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

Classic ITBS is more outside to front of knee rather than "rear and outer side"

Marmoteer - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

I had the same issue a while ago...it took me ages to work out what the problem was...it affected my running as well...I had pain in my knee but didn’t realise the pain came not under impact forces but when lifting my foot.

I think the pain originated from dropping off indoor boulder problems when I was unable to donwclimb.

I rested (both climbing and running) but most importantly stretched.  The key stretch was lying on my back and using a sling to pull my straight leg up into the air.

I then reintroduced the climbing and running gradually...back to normal with the odd twinge which is a reminder to stretch and warm up.

I hope that helps and you have a speedy recovery.

 

Big Lee - on 09 Feb 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

> heel hooking in particular (it also hurts when I am pullng at my leg when I take off my shoes) - in a vertical line to the outside of my hamstring, so to the rear and outer side of my knee.

Doesn't sound like your IT band. I take it you know that there are three hamstring muscles? You use a singular form in the above sentence. What you describe sounds like your biceps femoris muscle, which is the lateral hamstring. The IT band is down the lateral side of the thigh, slightly forward of the midpoint.

morphomouse - on 09 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

I do not have an in depth knowledge of leg anatomy no but I think you may be right. As above I think stretching helps slightly. I have recently started foam rolling again focussing on that area though it seems to aggravate it slightly.

I do not intend to take time off climbing if possible. Perhaps lay off the overhangs for a bit as the pain is aggravated using during pulling motions. I thought some antagonist exercises may help, though not sure which ones. Other suggestions appreciated...

Big Lee - on 09 Feb 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

> I have recently started foam rolling again focussing on that area though it seems to aggravate it slightly.

The stuff I've read on foam rollers concludes they're good for flexibility but no better than regular stretching. They've not been shown to offer any therapeutic benefits otherwise. They're popular for stretching IT bands because they're difficult to stretch otherwise. If the foam roller is aggravating the injury then I would just stick to regular stretching if it was me.

> I thought some antagonist exercises may help, though not sure which ones. Other suggestions appreciated...

You want to be doing eccentric muscle exercises and avoiding concentric ones (like heel hooks). There's some good information below, plus a video towards the bottom with suitable exercises.
 

https://trustmephysiotherapy.com/functional-hamstring-rehabilitation/

If the exercises cause irritation then I guess it's time to see a physio?


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