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  1. #1
    Bradley is offline Senior Member
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    Default Soft Tissue Tightness Question

    I've posted a lot here trying to understand my knee/leg problems. I'm pursuing in-person help, but since that hasn't worked yet I have to also try to figure it out on my own.

    One thing I notice is when I stand straight up and bend one knee back 9 degrees, the ITB gets really tight. I can feel that it's really taut when both legs are straight, but it's more noticeable when a leg is bent. But I also don't think it's the ITB itself that is the problem, because when I foam roll it, there aren't any spots that are particularly tender. When I'm rolling it just feels like it's making the tightness worse because it's trying to make the ITB longer, but instead it just makes it pull harder on whatever it's connected to around the knee.

    So how does one fix ITB tightness that does not seem to be caused by the ITB itself?

  2. #2
    erik64 is offline Senior Member
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    Look at gait first, second and third. When the foot hits the ground gravity and ground reaction forces create functional movement that cannot be explained by typical anatomy books as muscles only work synergistically and opposite to what many believe (ex. the hamstrings don't flex the knee in gait, they extend the knee along with soleus and posterior tib.). DO NOT ATTEMPT THE TRADITIONAL CROSS-OVER STRETCH depicted in textbooks. I would attack it from the bottom up, starting at the foot, and the top down, starting with the thoracic spine. Hips don't internally rotate well? Many options but the first would be to look for a trainer, ATC, PT schooled in Gary Gray's work. 3D transformational work will blow your mind! Soft tissue work should be performed on two feet so that pretty much takes out the humpy roller thingie

  3. #3
    Bradley is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik64 View Post
    Look at gait first, second and third. When the foot hits the ground gravity and ground reaction forces create functional movement that cannot be explained by typical anatomy books as muscles only work synergistically and opposite to what many believe (ex. the hamstrings don't flex the knee in gait, they extend the knee along with soleus and posterior tib.). DO NOT ATTEMPT THE TRADITIONAL CROSS-OVER STRETCH depicted in textbooks. I would attack it from the bottom up, starting at the foot, and the top down, starting with the thoracic spine. Hips don't internally rotate well? Many options but the first would be to look for a trainer, ATC, PT schooled in Gary Gray's work. 3D transformational work will blow your mind! Soft tissue work should be performed on two feet so that pretty much takes out the humpy roller thingie
    But I can sense the problem when I'm not moving, or even when I'm simply lying on my back. It's not movement related, or caused by movement, though it's more apparent when moving. I don't know if that contradicts what you're saying because your response is rather cryptic.

  4. #4
    AGP
    AGP is offline Member
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    Default

    What is the problem exactly? Has it been diagnosed/treated by a professional?

    I can't explain your problem but I can offer a couple of suggestions.

    Tight ITB is tight glutes. Either massage, stretch or do some kind of manipulation on your glutes. That includes gluteus medius also. Almost everyone has issues there whether they know it or not.

    I've also found the peroneals and anterior tibialis can contribute to knee pain often attributed to tight ITB. So work them as well and see if that helps.

    Also, some people find some relief when they have work done on their vastus lateralis.

    If its a strength imbalance issue, then that's a whole new story.

    I've struggled with constant knee pain which after several years managed to fix myself. When you can squat and run pain free, it'll be worth the effort.
    You might be armed but you're not dangerous...

  5. #5
    Bradley is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGP View Post
    What is the problem exactly? Has it been diagnosed/treated by a professional?

    I can't explain your problem but I can offer a couple of suggestions.

    Tight ITB is tight glutes. Either massage, stretch or do some kind of manipulation on your glutes. That includes gluteus medius also. Almost everyone has issues there whether they know it or not.

    I've also found the peroneals and anterior tibialis can contribute to knee pain often attributed to tight ITB. So work them as well and see if that helps.

    Also, some people find some relief when they have work done on their vastus lateralis.

    If its a strength imbalance issue, then that's a whole new story.

    I've struggled with constant knee pain which after several years managed to fix myself. When you can squat and run pain free, it'll be worth the effort.
    Never correctly diagnosed, as far as I can tell.

    "I've also found the peroneals and anterior tibialis can contribute to knee pain often attributed to tight ITB. So work them as well and see if that helps."

    I have little pain. The pain I do have is occasional and minor. The real problem is the constant feeling of improper alignment of the legs and the quads not feeling like they're working properly.

    Why would the glutes be tight? I have a desk job, so if anything, I'd think they would be loose.

  6. #6
    AGP
    AGP is offline Member
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    Never correctly diagnosed, as far as I can tell.
    >Sometimes you may need to consult with several physios or such, before a correct diagnosis is found.

    "I've also found the peroneals and anterior tibialis can contribute to knee pain often attributed to tight ITB. So work them as well and see if that helps."

    I have little pain. The pain I do have is occasional and minor. The real problem is the constant feeling of improper alignment of the legs and the quads not feeling like they're working properly.
    >Could be pain, discomfort, restricted movement, but generally some sort of dysfunction. Though you should have mentioned the above earlier, as your initial post was asking how to fix a tight ITB. Tight lower leg muscles can contribute to a dysfunction higher up in the leg. Worth trying to work them.
    Have you tried rolling or stretching your quads, hip flexors? Might even be a strength imbalance. Either way, see a doc.

    Why would the glutes be tight? I have a desk job, so if anything, I'd think they would be loose.
    >I think you mean stretch weakness. If a muscle is continually in a lengthened condition then it may become weak and be unable to contract efficiently. That means dysfunction which contribute to problems not only at the hips but further down at the knees.
    You might be armed but you're not dangerous...

  7. #7
    faizalenu is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
    Why would the glutes be tight? I have a desk job, so if anything, I'd think they would be loose.
    If you have a desk job, they will be tightened and lengthened. Your hip flexors would be tightened and shortened. Tension <> resting length
    Faizal S. Enu, CFT/RKC/PBA
    My blog: http://faizalenu.blogspot.com
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  8. #8
    erik64 is offline Senior Member
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    Always ask yourself what the function of a muscle is, especially when on two feet which is quite often opposite of that when gravity and ground reaction forces are absent. The IT Band is a decelerator of tibial and femoral internal rotation (think gait here). Most likely it would be related to same side foot issue or opposite hip flexor tightness. But, the thoracic spine could also be a player as well. Start at the opposite hip flexor with proper mobilization followed by stability patterns. The pain/tightness in the IT is only a symptom so don't over do spot work here.

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