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

Avoid these perpetuating activities:

If possible, discontinue running and walks on uneven ground for a short while until the muscle has been relieved and the hip is stabilized.

Work to change positions regularly during prolonged immobility such as long drives. Clients that cannot avoid pain during the long drives will keep a tennis ball in the car to roll on during driving. This is consistent as a successful strategy.

Prolonged standing can also be aggravating to these trigger points. These people will often accommodate this by getting a desk that can be easily changed from standing to seated.

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

3/4 face down sleeping position

Avoid sleeping on your side. This 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:

Mid-sized IcyHot patches work well in the short term. One of these IcyHot patches on the green X. Place the patch so that it lays under the crest of your hip with the top, front corner of the patch just near 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.

For longer-lasting relief.

The tennis ball treatment for glutes may be 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.

pigeon from

Pigeon does a good job of opening those anteriolateral 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 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.

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.

This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.

Weekly Featured Post

Is the pain from
degenerative discs or
trigger points in the muscle?

This post discusses the differences in pain from disc problems and pain from trigger points. Who should you see to help with your pain?

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.

Question? Comment? Typo?
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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.