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Self Care – Pain Down the IT Band, Extending Behind the Ankle

Self-Care includes
– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…

Here, you will find strategies for getting relief from the pain that extends down the leg. You can find more information about how people describe, activate, and aggravate this pain pattern in this other post.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

If possible, discontinue running and walking on uneven ground for a short while. This gives the muscle and hip joints time to stabilize.

Prolonged Immobility

Change positions regularly during prolonged immobility. For example, take more breaks on long drives. Clients that cannot avoid pain during long drives will keep a tennis ball in the car to roll on during driving. I’ve seen many clients use the tennis ball successfully to get relief on drives.

Prolonged standing can also be aggravating to these trigger points. These people will often get a desk that can easily change from standing to seated.

Weight Loss

Obese clients benefit from weight loss and light exercise. However, some clients have taken on too intense training or shifts from one leg to the other, which aggravates the condition. Cycling and stair climber machines are particularly troubling.

3/4 face down sleeping position

Sleeping position

Avoid sleeping on your side. This position presses into the trigger point with moderate pressure which activates the pattern so that its referral pattern is difficult to release without getting up and moving around for a while.

If you cannot sleep on your back, this three-quarter face-down position works when the front corner of the hip is on the mattress.

For Temporary Relief:

Pain Patches

Mid-sized IcyHot patches work well in the short term. Place one of these IcyHot patches on the green X. Position the patch just under the crest of your hip. The top, front corner of the patch should be close to the front corner of your hip.

Test this to see how effective it is before you rely on it to sit in the front row of Les Mis.



These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

The tennis ball treatment for glutes can be very effective in releasing this trigger point. Focus on using the ball near the front corner of the crest of your hip where it creates this referral pattern. If you aggravate it, stretch it under a hot shower. plant your foot and push your hip toward the aggravated side to stretch it.


Most people overwork this and need some ice afterward. It’s a good idea to ice this afterward even if you didn’t overwork this.


I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at [email protected].

Yoga Corner

pigeon from theyogaposes.com

Pigeon does a good job of opening those anterolateral gluteal muscles. This yoga practitioner gets the hip of her back leg close to the mat to open up the TFL and anterior bellies of the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. Go for getting that hip down by extending the hip, instead of arching the low back.

Lizard Lunge by Katie Thompson

I’ve never seen anything quite like this Lizard Lunge for hitting that anterior belly of the Gluteus medius. Pulling the foot back puts a little more stretch on the fascia lata through the anterior hip.

In most cases, you should really see a Neuromuscular therapist or some other bodyworker who specializes in pelvic balancing.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

Does another Self-Care post
better match your pain?

Here is the post about the trigger point pattern associated with these Self-Care activities.

Check these posts on the hip, thigh, and calf to see if there is one that better fits you. There are also posts about sciatica-like patterns down the leg.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.