Rider Q&A: How do I get rid of pain in my IT band?

Q: Do you have any good advice for an on-going IT band issue that I can’t seem to resolve ? It just started last fall and I have a therapy routine per a knee specialist , so hopefully soon I will be pain free but I don’t want to be in this predicament again . Thanks for any advise you can pass down .


A:I’ve had good luck with this routine in my facility to help with IT band problem. Even though it is billed as a routine for low back pain in this old blog post, the hip mobility you will gain from it will help a lot of hip and leg pains as well. Try this routine to help you out:


Also, really dig into the butt cheeks with the foam roller…I’d even get a tennis ball and eventually a softball to dig in even deeper. The glutes are a big, thick muscle and you really have to dig in to get the trigger points under the surface.

I was reading something by Mike Boyle a few months back and he pointed something out that changed how I approach this problem. I used to spend more time foam rolling the IT band itself and while it may help some it is inherently limited. The IT band itself is a very tough “chord” that runs down the side of the leg and really has very little potential for lengthening itself.

However, If you get the soft tissue it connects with the IT band, i.e. the glute, to loosen up that will take some of the pressure off of it. That will help more in the long run than just rolling out on the IT band. Remember that a lot of times where you feel pain isn’t where the problem is – it is usually some dysfunction in the joint above or below the pain that is the real culprit. In this case, the glutes in the hip joint are causing the problem.

Hope this helps…

-James Wilson-

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  1. Rodney says:

    Maybe it helps to just lower the saddle a teeny bit, like only half an inch.

    Reply • January 22 at 12:03 pm
  2. Eric says:

    I’ve been off the trainer for 4 weeks now nursing my IT band. I’ve been rolling, focusing mostly on the IT Band itself. I’m definitely going to focus some more on the glutes and give the program above a try.

    Reply • January 23 at 8:02 am
  3. Rob says:

    If the roller and tennis ball don’t work for you, try finding a physiotherapist who can do IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation.) I think it is specifically called Gunn IMS after the guy who developed it. I had this done once a week for 8 weeks, and it completely eliminated my ITB pain. Maybe it will work for you, maybe it won’t. My health plan covered it as physio, so it was worth giving it a try.

    Reply • January 23 at 9:14 pm
  4. neil says:

    the foam roller is good for this, and the pigeon pose stretch. if the roller hurts it shows you need it. fir me it was excruciating now it’s almost comfortable (took about 6 weeks)

    Reply • June 3 at 2:24 pm
  5. Telisa says:

    I have a friend who is very obese, and has been experiencing excruciating pain in her right IT band. We tried stretching, massaging, antiinflamatories….been to the doctor etc. If anyone has anything that may help please let me know. I can feel the inflamation and scar tissue, when I rub on it. Sometimes it even has a fever.

    Reply • March 12 at 5:41 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      I think the primary thing to do would be to get her to lose some weight. Being obese places a lot of strain on the body and the IT band may just be overworked from the compensations that develop from it. Get her hooked up with a good trainer who has some experience with the Functional Movement Screen so they can help her restore quality movement while training to lose weight.

      Reply • March 13 at 10:25 am

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