General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Numbness and ITB issues Rss Feed  
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2009-12-23 11:18 AM

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Bronze member
Subject: Numbness and ITB issues
Has anyone experienced superficial numbness on the outer portion of the leg after ITB issues were on the mend?

After my HIM in September, I developed ITB issues that progressively worsened until aprox mid November. I was foam rolling (too long, too hard?), icing, stretching(too hard?), seeing a physical therapist, seeing a chiropractor, taking NSAIDS, etc. The whole nine yards...

Now, I'd say i'm almost over ITB issues, but have developed this numbness along the length of the (left leg) IT band. It started as a slight numbness above the knee area (outer leg) and has progressively "spread" up the leg to about mid thigh. It's very superficial, though. I also feel tingling in the shin and even down to my toes.

I have pretty much stopped foam rolling, as I suspect this may have caused it. I am also stretching much easier. Now, anytime I run or cycle, the numbness intensifies. It doesn't hurt or feel's just numbness/tingling...

Does this sound ITB related, or does it sound like something else could be the cause (ie: a tear of some sort)?

I have been doing sciatic nerve glides and that seems to help it, but it keeps coming back when I workout...

An MRI is scheduled, but it won't happen until 4 Jan.


2009-12-23 12:36 PM
in reply to: #2575301

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2013-01-08 12:58 AM
in reply to: #2575301


Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues

I started experiencing the exact same problem two and a half years ago after completing the San Francisco Marathon. I do not know if the problems started as a result of the race or the deep tissue massages that I got during the week afterward, but not a whole lot has changed since then.

My specific issue is numbness along the I-T band of my left leg, between my hip and knee (concentrated in the middle 50% of that area). I have persistent numbness along with frequent dull pain, tingling, and burning sensation. Foam rolling provides some relief, but the problem persists.

Within a few months of the symtoms occurring, I visited an orthopedic surgeon at Stanford. He did not find anything wrong in the MRI, but he was able to narrow down the source. By using sharp pin, he found surface numbness in the area I described above and said that it related to a nerve that runs up to my hip. He asked if I was wear overly tight clothing, which I wasn't, and suggested physical therapy. I did not follow through with that, but based on how much I have tried stretching out and the time I have given for recovery, I highly doubt that would help.

Has anyone been able to solve this problem?

2013-01-08 1:04 AM
in reply to: #2575301

Abilene, Texas
Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues

Numbness on the outer quad can be meralgia paresthetica...your symptoms sound fairly classic to me.

Whatever it is...don't mess with numbness...nerves are finicky things and they can take forever to heal if perturbed.

I had meralgia paresthetica in my right leg.  It really would bother me when standing and when I was DONE running and tried to walk.  I let it go too long and now I still have some numbness in that leg....especially when standing for long periods of time.  Mine definitely seems to be weight related despite wearing loose clothes.  I get over a certain bothers me more.  And it's not a weight I would consider "super obese".  So...sometimes it's just the way we are put together.

If it's meralgia paresthetica then typically about the only thing you can do is see pain management and hope they can calm it down...or take away whatever is pinching it (tight clothes, weight, etc.).

2013-01-08 4:47 AM
in reply to: #4567386

Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues
daviddlyman - 2013-01-07 11:58 PM suggested physical therapy. I did not follow through with that, but based on how much I have tried stretching out and the time I have given for recovery, I highly doubt that would help.

Has anyone been able to solve this problem?

I'd have gone to PT for starts.  PT is more then stretching. Find a good PT that works specifically with sports injuries. 

2013-01-08 7:00 AM
in reply to: #2575301

New user
Green Bay
Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues
meralgia peresthitica or lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment.  careful with your foam rolling.

2013-01-08 1:00 PM
in reply to: #2575301

Extreme Veteran
Tampa, FL
Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues

I've dealt with this type of pain on and off the last several years.  It started when I went too hard too fast training after having my last baby 6 years ago.  It started out as ITBS.  I went to PT and it made this worse--way worse!  I went on to have hip bursitis and SI joint problems too.  I was a mess!  I tried everything to get it to go away--countless PTs (five if I remember right!), massage, chiro, injections, foam rolling, stretching.  Nothing helped.  I finally went to see a neurologist after several tests and MRI he decided to have me try the drug Lyrica.  It totally helped!  I had to slow WAY down on working out, but the pain and tingling finally went away!  I stayed on it about 6 months and then weaned off of it.  The pain will come back if I do too much (running it the worst--can't run more than 4 miles and I have to go SLOW!!).  If I back off, it will go away. 

My pain is mostly in my right hip joint, but the burning/tingling/numb feeling radiates around my torso and down my right leg and both inner thighs.  Its not really painful, but the sensation is super annoying!!!  The pain doesn't usually start until AFTER a hard run.  I can run and feel fine and then within an hour or so the tingling/burning settles in.

ETA:  If I stretch, use a foam roller, or any do strengthening in my lower body the tingling/numbness comes back everytime. 

Edited by kylerboys 2013-01-08 1:05 PM
2013-01-08 1:19 PM
in reply to: #2575301

Abilene, Texas
Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues

Oh, I forgot to mention that my ART guy was convinced this was related to my tight IT Bands.  It just so happens that my nerve only went numb or painful just past where it probably crosses the IT Band.  He used to work on that IT band a lot and that was also about when it was getting better.

So, it could have been the extra weight in combination with a tight IT band.  ART might be worth a try too in addition to pain management.  I had already gone to pain management (which calmed the nerve down) THEN found this ART guy...the ART guy may have kept the nerve issue from coming back...

I was able to point to a specific place in my leg where the nerve issue started....still can.  And it just happens to be where the IT band extends to (not vertically...but "sideways"...more like the width of the IT band I guess).

These nerves don't run exactly the same in your area of numbness might be slightly different than someone else.

My "weird feeling" has never completely gone best I only feel the weird nerve sensation when shaving.  It's definitely gotten better but nerves take SO long to heal....

2014-11-07 8:06 PM
in reply to: tri_d00d


Subject: RE: Numbness and ITB issues
Hey there! Wondering if the root issue was ever found or if these ever went away? reading the messages it all sounds a bit ominous!

I have very similar symptoms, strange numbness on the outside of my leg near the knee. It started after the NYC Marathon on 11/2 and I noticed it probably 11/3 or 11/4. When I sit for a bit and get up it almost feels like a pulling sensation on the muscle, more the hamstring muscle immediately below rather than the ITB itself.

I saw a ortho today and he didn't seem too concerned and thought it might be the nerve's related to the skin as there is no weakness in the legs or feet.

I rolled today and there is definite pain in my ITB towards the middle and top, but not as much near the area. The pain is not abnormal to rolling however (normal pain, not injury).

None of this is painful, mainly just 'different' sensation.

I am going for a ride tomorrow and will see, have already done 8mi (slowly == 9min/mile) and that felt fine.

(leg numbness area.jpg)

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